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Countdown begins for Nairobi’s Kip Keino Classic Continental Tour

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NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 10 – The countdown has commenced as Nairobi prepares to host a round of the inaugural World Athletics Continental Tour Gold series on 26 September.

Kenyan Olympic legend Kipchoge Keino has appreciated the organisers’ gesture in naming the Nairobi meeting the “Kip Keino Classic” in his honour, with the traditional Kenyan hospitality awaiting athletes, fans, officials and the media.

Keino is among the most respected Kenyan athletes of all time, his Olympic gold medals in Mexico 1968 (3:34.91 seconds for the 1500m) and Munich 1972 (8:23.64 in the 3000m steeplechase) inspiring subsequent domination by Kenyan runners at the Olympic Games, World Championships and other major meets.

“It’s a great feeling to be honoured when someone is still alive. May the good God bless Kenya and may the good Lord bless our sportsmen and women,” Keino, 80, acknowledged.

What’s more, the Kip Keino Classic will be hosted in Nairobi’s freshly refurbished Nyayo National Stadium, Kenya’s most popular stadium due to its ambience and proximity to the capital Nairobi’s central business district.

Brand new seats have been fitted, a media centre and tribune built from scratch and the installation of two electronic screens in the stadium is nearing completion in a project personally supervised by Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed.

The Kip Keino Classic’s Local Organising Committee is headed by Athletics Kenya President Jackson Tuwei with the federations executive committee member, Barnabas Korir, the Meet Director.

Nairobi will also host The World Athletics U20 Championships that were initially programmed for 7-12 July, but which have now been rescheduled to a yet-to-be-confirmed date.

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With Kenya keeping an eye on the coronavirus pandemic, the 30,000-seat Nyayo National Stadium had a feel of some action under cautious conditions on 11 June 11 it hosted the Kenyan section of the “Impossible Games.”

The highlight was the 2000m Maurie Plant Memorial virtual contest between Kenya’s Team Cheruiyot and Norway’s Team Ingebrigtsen with the latter running at Oslo’s Bislett Stadium.

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Team Ingebrigstens – led by the three Ingebrigtsen brothers, Jakob, Filip and Henrik – triumphed in the duel over a strong Kenyan quintet led by world 1500m champion Timothy Cheruiyot and his predecessor Elijah Manang’oi.

Jakob led the Norwegian charge across the line in 4:50.01, beating British legend Steve Cram’s European record (4:51.39) set in 1985, with Cheruiyot leading the Kenyans across under atrocious Nairobi conditions in 5:03.05.

It might have been just a “filler” for the scaled-down Bislett Games Diamond League meeting (due to the coronavirus pandemic), but Kenyan fans and athletes alike wish to see this group of athletes compete at the 26 September Kip Keino Classic.

And Cheruiyot himself has already thrown down the gauntlet.

“We want to invite them (Ingebrigstens) for training in Kenya and for the Continental Tour,” Cheruiyot reacted after the “Impossible Games.”

“We were all in great shape but such conditions don’t bring out the best.

“The track was windy and that made it difficult to move. Jakob and his teammates had good weather and their track was pretty fast and conducive.”

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Manang’oi, World 1500m champion in 2017 added, “It would be nice if they are to come and feel the altitude and weather conditions in Nairobi.

“It was rainy and the altitude is high. My body simply failed to move.”

That Kenyan fans and athletes are already in an upbeat mood, seeking revenge over the Norwegians, already makes up for an excellent build-up to what promises to be mouth-watering action at the 26 September Kip Keino Classic.

“We are leaving nothing to chance in organising what promises to be a spectacular Kip Keino Classic,” Meet Director Korir assured.

“Kenya is known for its hospitality and first class athletics organisational acumen which will, again, come into play on September 26.

“We thank World Athletics for giving Kenya and Nairobi this special honour of hosting a leg of the Continental Tour Series,” Korir, a former distance running star added.

On 6 July, President Kenyatta announced a phased reopening of the country after partial lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

As at 6 July, Kenya had recorded 8,068 Covid-19 cases with 2,414 recoveries and 164 deaths.

In the preceding week, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Sport Amina Mohamed named an 18-strong focus group to look into the reopening of sports activities in the country, with their report expected to be presented on 10 July.

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While local air travel resumes on 15 July, international flights will be back from August 1 with schools and churches remaining closed and the country maintaining a nationwide 9pm to 4am curfew.

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Sewage Menace in Pipeline, Residents Cry For Help

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By Milo George

Residents of Pipeline Transami area are decrying poor drainage system that has caused sewage water to overflow in their area of residence.

The residents claim that the overflowing sewage is not only putting their lives at risk but also causing air pollution.

They have called on Nairobi Metropolitan Services and Nairobi City Water and Sewage Company to come on board and expand the sewer lines before more areas are flooded with raw human wastes coming from the blocked pipes.
“We want Major Badi and our leaders to resolve this menace immediately. It’s terrible many have been forced to shift their businesses because of the foul smell,” they said.
Pastor Joe Ndivoh of Word Evangelistic Explosion Ministries says that they have been forced to call off the Sunday School Service to protect the children from the smelly sewage.
‘‘We now fear that if prompt action is not taken then we will have a bigger health problem than this because we fear there could be an outbreak of water-borne disease anytime,’’ Pastor Ndivoh added.


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Solberg Jnr replaces Pierre-Louis for WRC Safari – KBC

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Hyundai Motorsport World Rally Team has made a change to it’s WRC2 team for Safari replacing Pierre-Louis Loubet with 19 year old Oliver Solberg.

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The change of crew hands young Solberg an opportunity to resume his family dream on the fabled Safari which was first held from 27 May to 1 June 1953 as the East African Coronation Safari in Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika as a celebration of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

Solberg Senior finished the WRC Safari 5th on the 1999 and 2000 editions driving a Ford Focus and navigated by his eventual Championship- winning navigator Phil Mills. In 200 and 2002, Petter retired on Safari after he lost a wheel and suffering engine gremlins on both occasions.

Oliver was forced to withdraw from last week’s Rally Italia Sardegna after his father, 2003 WRC champion Petter Solberg, tested positive for coronavirus.

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Oliver was gearing up for his second top flight World Rally Championship outing with Hyundai at last weekend’s s Italian event.

However having been in contact with his father, Oliver was compelled to remain in quarantine in a hotel in Porto for 14 days as per the FIA Appendix S regulations.

The FIA’s Appendix S COVID-19 protocol and national government regulations offer clear quarantine instructions for those in close contact.

“You can imagine, I am more than disappointed by this news. I am a little bit devastated,” The 19-year-old Solberg told www.motorsport.com last week.

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WRC Safari Rally Event Secretary Helen Shiri confirmed Oliver’s Safari participation saying: “Hyundai WRC 2 team car number 7 has changed the crew from Driver Pierre-Lous and co-driver Florian Haut-labourdette both from France to Oliver Solberg (Swedish) and  Co-driver Aaron Johnston (Ireland). The car, a Hyundai i20 Coupé, remains intact.”

Meanwhile, it’s been a meteoric rise for the son of world champion Petter.

Less than two years after his maiden rally in a four-wheel drive car, the teenage sensation was competing at the WRC’s top level.

Aged just 17, Oliver became the youngest winner of a European Championship rally in 2019.

With a father and a mother from a well-known Swedish motorsport family and a former Production WRC competitor in her own right, there was a sense of inevitability that a career at the wheel was inevitable for Oliver Solberg. 

Solberg’s early years were spent racing in crosskarts.

In 2012 he won the Norwegian Championship before a step up to a higher class brought consecutive title wins in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

In 2019 Solberg stepped into R5 machinery, driving a Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 in the Latvian/Estonian/Baltic Rally Championship. He took to the increased power immediately and racked up five class wins on his way to the championship title.

He also followed in his father’s footsteps to join Subaru Motorsports USA. He drove a latest-spec Impreza STI, winning three of the six rounds

After making his WRC debut at the 2019 Rally GB, Solberg stepped into a full WRC campaign in 2020, driving his own Polo R5 alongside a partial campaign with Skoda Motorsport.

The WRC returns to Africa for the first time since 2002. The Safari of old has evolved to fit the modern-day WRC, but its character remains with challenging closed dirt roads, stunning picture-postcard scenery and exotic wildlife.

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Three more suspected robbers arrested along Southern by-pass – KBC

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Three more suspects have been arrested in connection with the recent spate of robberies targeting motorists along the Southern by-pass.

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The three were arrested in Kibra by detectives based in Langata.

Their arrest follows a detailed analysis and investigations of the robberies, with detectives employing cyber and forensic analysis techniques to identify the beneficiaries of the crimes.

Boniface Winjira Unganyi, the proprietor of Basement Crew mobile shop within Lindi in Kibra, was arrested as the key suspect after a total of 102 mobile phones suspected to have been stolen from victims were recovered from his shop.

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Also arrested were 35-year-old Alex Mboya, who was found in possession of a victim’s phone, and a 16-year-old minor, studying at a secondary school in Langata.

Five other suspects have been arraigned in recent weeks in connection with the violent robberies.

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