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SPORTS

Sprinter Justin Gatlin arrives in the country ahead of Kip Keino Classic slated for Saturday

ATHLETICS By Stafford Ondego | September 16th 2021
Three-time World Champion Justin Gatlin arrives at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport September 16, 2021. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

Three-time World Champion Justin Gatlin on Thursday morning arrived in the country ahead of the Kip Keino Classic slated for Saturday.

Gatlin is among the stars who have been confirmed for the second edition of the Kip Keino Classic, a part of the World Athletics Continental Gold Tour, which will be staged at the Kasarani Stadium.

Justin Gatlin among top athletes expected at Kip Keino Classic September 16, 2021. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

The two world 100m champion wants to give the up-and-coming sprinters a run for their money in Nairobi during the KipKeino Classic continental meeting.

For an athlete who have travelled much in the last 20 years, he feels coming to Kenya to compete is special because he considers it his motherland.

Former World and Olympic 100m champion Justin Gatlin arrives at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport September 16, 2021. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

The 39-year-old is planning to show more of his humanitarian as he nears the sunset of his glittering career.

Addressing journalists upon arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Gatlin said: "I want to build a program that will help athletes across the world I feel like there is a defect around the world where a lot of athletes don't have equipment and facilities or even coaches to get them to the next level. I want a program that can help athletes not just in athletics but all the others sports to reach their potential,"

National 100m record holder Ferdinand Omanyala, will face off with the 2017 world 100m champion USA’s Justin Gatlin and Trayvon Bromell.

Kenya's Ferdinand Omanyala reacts after qualifying or Olympics semifinals. [Reuters]

Other stars on the roster include Namibian teenager and Olympic and Diamond League 200m champion Christine Mboma, her country mate Beatrice Masilingi and World 100m bronze medallist Ivorian Marie-Josee Ta Lou.

World 100m silver medallist Fred Kerley from the United States will take on Commonwealth Games 400m champion Isaac Makwala from Botswana, Olympic 3000m steeplechase champion Soufiane El Bakkali of Morocco and the Nairobi World Under-20 200m bronze medallist Sinesipho Dambile from South Africa in men's 200m.

There will be nine core events on card during the Kip Keino Classic; men and women’s hammer throw, men’s pole vault, women’s long jump, men’s 100m, men and women’s 200m and men and women’s 3,000m steeplechase.

The men and women’s 5,000m, men and women’s 1,500m, men and women’s 800m and men’s javelin throw will fall under the discretionary events among others.

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