2023 athletics calendar promises slew of thrilling games, tournaments

Last year was characterized by riveting actions, and in 2023 athletes have a long list of athletics events both locally and on the global stage, to compete in. The increasing number of athletics events is expected to give budding athletes the platform to compete alongside their experienced counterparts as they make names for themselves. A look at the Kenyan and global federation calendar of events, signifies mouthwatering clashes locally and globally.

Kenyan athletes will be seeking glory in several events including the World Cross Country Championship in February, the Africa Under18 and Under20 championships in April, African Games from August 5-8, Accra Ghana),the World Masters Athletics Indoor Championship in April, the World Athletics Championships from August 19-27, Commonwealth Youth Games in August and the World Mountain and Trail Running set for Innsbruck (Australia) from June 16-18.

They will be devotedly carrying the national flag just like they did last year at the World Championships in Oregon and the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

The regional cross country series are also ongoing in January, culminating in the National Cross Country championships in the Athletics Kenya (AK) National Cross Country Championships to be held at Kenya Prisons Training College, Ruiru.

The National Cross Country Championships will usher in the weekend relay and AK track and field meetings.

Previous National Cross Country Championship [Charles Odero]

Eldoret, the City of Champions, will continue giving athletics enthusiasts succulent action with the World Athletics Cross Country Tour – Gold at the Lobo village. It will be the second edition.

The inaugural edition was named Agnes Tirop Memorial in honour of Agnes Tirop, but the 2023 race is dubbed Sirikwa Classic Cross Country Tour.

Also to be held are traditional road and cross country races such as Discovery Kenya Cross Country set for January 29 in Eldoret, the Tegla Loroupe 10km Peace Race in Kapenguria in November and Kakamega Forest Marathon, among several other local races.

Recently inaugurated races such as the Nairobi City Marathon on May 21, Re-discover Nandi Road Race on July 9, Nakuru City Half Marathon in December and Iten International Marathon also in December could also see new stars emerge. 

The World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary is slated for August 19-29, and tickets are already selling fast. The 2023 Commonwealth Youth Games, officially known as the VII Commonwealth Youth Games but dubbed Trinbago 2023 will be held in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago in 2023. They will be the seventh edition of the Commonwealth Youth Games.

Mary Moraa of Team Kenya celebrates after winning the gold medal in the Women's 800m Final on day nine of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at Alexander Stadium on August 6, 2022 on the Birmingham, United Kingdom. (Kelly Ayodi, Standard)

The games were initially scheduled for August 1-7, 2021, but were postponed following the Covid-19 pandemic, and now will be staged from August 4-11 2023.

Kenyans will also enjoy breathtaking action as the country’s biggest stars take to the track at 14 Diamond League meetings from May to September, with the most successful qualifying for the two-day Wanda Diamond League Final at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, on 16 and 17 September. This year’s Road to the Final will once again feature Silesia’s Kamila Skolimowska Memorial meeting, which has now joined the series for the next five years after featuring on a provisional basis in 2022 to compensate for the cancellation of both Chinese legs due to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Wanda Diamond League organisers.

The Road to the final will burst out of the blocks at its traditional starting point in Doha, with the Qatari capital set to host the season launch for the 12th time since 2010 on 5 May. After touching down on African soil at the Meeting International Mohammed VI in Rabat on 28 May, the series will then head to Europe in June and July. The world’s best athletes will head to Rome on 2 June, Paris on 9 June, Oslo on 15 June, Lausanne on 30 June and Stockholm on 2 July.

Silesia, which will be a full-member meeting from 2023 until 2027, will host a Wanda Diamond League meeting for the second time in its history on July 16. Following Herculis Monaco on 21 July, the series will return to London after a three-year hiatus, with the London Diamond League to be held at the London Stadium for the first time since 2019 on 23 July. Two Chinese meetings in Shanghai and Shenzhen will follow on July 29 and August 3 before the World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023. The season will resume with Weltklasse Zurich on August 31 and the Allianz Memorial Van Damme meeting in Brussels on September 8.

For the first time ever, the Wanda Diamond League Final will take place not in Zurich or Brussels, but on US soil at the Prefontaine Classic. Eugene will host the 2023 season finale, with all 32 Diamond League champions to be crowned across two days of elite athletics action on 16 and 17 September. The World Marathon Majors (WMMs) will kick off in Tokyo, Japan on March Mar 5 before moving to Boston on April 17 and on April 23. The WMM clash will head to Berlin on September 24 and Chicago on October 8. The New York City Marathon will close the 2023 chapter on November 5.


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