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Olympic champion Marcel Jacobs latest entrant for Kip Keino Classic

Italy's Lamont Marcell Jacobs, South Africa's Akani Simbine and USA's Fred Kerley compete in the men's 100m final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on August 1, 2021. (Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP) (Photo by ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP via Getty Images)
  • The Olympic gold and silver medalists will compete in Nairobi
  • Kenya’s Omanyala not afraid of the competition
  • The race is scheduled for Saturday May 7 at Kasarani

Olympic 100m champion Marcell Jacobs is the latest entrant into a star studded sprints field at this weekend’s Kip Keino Classic, a stop of the World Athletics Continental Gold Tour. The Italian has confirmed he will compete in the Saturday event at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani, setting up a mouth watering clash against Kenya’s Ferdinand Omanyala.

“Excited to be going to Nairobi for the Ki Keino Classic,” Jacobs posted on his Facebook page just moments after Race Director Barnaba Korir had confirmed the Italian will compete in Nairobi.

While confirming the Olympic champion’s presence in Nairobi, Korir said;

“This is one of the best fields you will ever come across. You don’t get this even in the Diamond League. We are looking forward to an exciting race on Saturday and a great event,” he said.

Omanyala will definitely lead the Kenyan hunt, having finished second at the last Classic last year, where he set his now African and national record of 9.77secs.

Ferdinand Omanyala celebrates his win

“It is going to be a talented field and I am excited for it. I know it is going to be lit. This race will be won by 9.7 or 9.6. It is going to be a fast race and I am ready for it,” he noted.

Jacobs comes into the race hot on the heels of not just an Olympic title, but fresh from being crowned the World Indoor 60m champion.

“Last year we all saw what happened where our own Ferdinand Omanyala set an new national and African record. If what we experienced is anything to go by then, we can even expect something better,” Korir stated, saying the high altitude in nairobi offers sprinters a platform for fast times.

Also listed in the race is the silver medalist from the Olympic Games, Fred Kerley.

Others are Tortu Filippo, Mike Rodgers, Gift Tlotliso Leotlela Isiah  Young and Dambile Sinesipho of South Africa.

It will not only be in the men’s race where cut throat and exciting competition is expected. In the women’s race, multiple world and Olympic champion Shelly Anne Fraser Pryce has also been confirmed for the women’s race.

She will set up a duel against American Sha’Carri Richardson who became famous just before the Olympic Games after she was barred by USA’s Track and Field Association for the use of marijuana.

Also confirmed for the race is Olympic 200m silver medalist Christine Mboma who returns to Nairobi after winning last year’s World Under-20 title.

Other Olympic champions who have been confirmed for the one day event include, Hammer throw champion Anita Włodarczyk of Poland, the only woman to win three consecutive Olympic titles.

Men’s Hammer Throw champion Wojciech Nowicki, also from Poland will compete in Nairobi for the second consecutive time having won the event last year.

Olympic 3000m steeplechase champion Peruth Chemutai of Uganda will also compete and tussle for the title alongside Kenya’s Celiphine Chespol who won the event last year.

Former Olympic champion Conseslus Kipruto has also expressed his desire to compete.

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