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Why Impossible Games will be like Diamond League

Last updated 4 months ago | By Dennis Okeyo

Elijah Manangoi (L) and Timothy Cheruiyot training at Nyayo national stadium on June 05, 2020 ahead of their Maurie Plant Memorial virtual race against the Norways 'Team Ingebrigtsen' on June 11, 2020. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

A lot of excitement await viewers on Thursday when Team Cheruiyot take on Norwegian brothers.

The Impossible Games meet is set to offer viewers the experience of the 14-leg Diamond League series.

Never mind Africa has only one leg of the series which normally takes place in Marrakech, Morocco. The Marrakech meet is not even in the 2020 list with World Athletics website showing only 13 meetings

Even the so called big African economies like South Africa have never hosted the Diamond League races, but Kenya will have that chance on Thursday even though under different circumstances.

Although it’s just a virtual race, the night competition would give the global audience world class TV production standards.

The unique event will be the first track and field contest this season and will replace Oslo Diamond League which was cancelled due to Covid-19 pandemic.

World champion Timothy Cheruiyot and Elijah Manangoi, the 2017 world 1500m champion, will line up in the 2,000m contest at Nyayo Stadium while the Ingebrigtsen brothers Henrik, Filip and Jakob will test their mettle inside Bislett Stadium in Oslo, Norway at 9:40pm Kenyan time.

The Bislett Games will certainly be a perfect clash where Cheruiyot, Manangoi, 2012 junior silver medalist Edwin Melli, Timothy Sein and Africa junior 1500m champion Vincent Keter will battle against the Ingebrigtsen brothers who will attempt the European record of 4:51.39.

The meeting will be aired by Norway’s Omega Productions with TV commentators led by Steve Cram, who holds the European 2,000m record of 4:51.39 set in 1985, and other athletics analysts on the deck.

The Omega productions will also show time splits during the race and technical presentation on the speed of each athletes competing. The meeting will feature 13 other events.

“The event will start at once and will be broadcast live on a split screen and run in international televisions, social media and Diamond League YouTube channel at 9:40pm. The three athletes must finish from each team. The team with the fastest cumulative time from their top three runners wins the race,” said coach Bernard Ouma. 

The public and journalists will be barred from the event but the Omega Productions, a Norwegian TV, will share content. 

“The event would match Diamond League standards with seven cameras set  to capture every moment from warm up area to the track.

“It’s a good initiative. It shows creativity in these challenging times and it also gives the athletes the chance to test themselves and the audience across the global to follow it live,” said Ouma. 

“The production team will be providing all content to the media houses from footage, images and interviews to the media after the race. Journalists will not be allowed into stadium,” he said. 

Barnaba Korir, the race director, said: “Athletics Kenya will be providing all the technical and officials to the event, which we are certain will attain international standards.”

Apart from the 2,000m race, there will be solo races with Norway’s Karsten Warholm chasing 300m hurdles world record.  Another Norwegian runner Therese Johaug will be running 10,000m solo event.


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