This is the preview of the 2023 Kip Keino Classic, which will be held in Nairobi, Kenya on May 13, 2023. This piece is by Justin Lagat, our senior writer for Kenya. 

Stars from the US, Jamaica, Canada, Ukraine, Poland, South Africa, Botswana, Uganda, Ethiopia and Poland, among other countries, have landed in the capital city of Kenya to prepare for what promises to be the best-ever fourth edition of the Kip Keino Classic Continental Tour Gold.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce vs Zoe Hobbs poster, photo by Kip Keino Classic

On her way here, Jamaica’s sprint superstar came through Paris to pick up her Laureus Sportswoman of the Year Award. Fraser-Pryce, the reigning World 100m, will open her outdoor season in Nairobi on Saturday, the same place where she ran a world-leading time of 10.67 for her first 100m race last year. After that, she would run the exact time in three other meets, another world-leading time of 10.62 in Monaco, and six other sub-11 second times in what was arguably her best year.

The 36-year-old hasn’t raced since last September but feels ready to run a good time.

“I am feeling good, to be honest. But no two years are the same. Whatever things you correct in training or whatever you are working on, if you come and execute all those things, it will all come together. I hope to build on the moments and experiences that I had last year into this year,” she told reporters at the airport as she landed in the country.

The Men’s 200 meters should be hot, photo by Kip Keino Classic

Canada’s 4x100m reigning world champions will feature in the men’s 100m and 200m events. Jerome Blake will be in the 100m event, while Aaron Brown will be in the men’s 200m.

USA’s Sha’Carri Richardson, who just ran a world-leading time of 10.76 for the 100m in Doha, will compete in the women’s 200m. In addition, 24-year-old Twanisha Terry, the reigning world 4x100m champion and winner of last month’s Continental Tour Gold meet in Botswana, and 26-year-old Olympic silver medalist Teahna Daniels will be in the 100m event.

The men from the US are also represented in the 100m/200m events. Kenneth Bednarek and Marvin Bracy-Williams will run against Kenya’s Ferdinand Omanyala in the 100m, while Kyree King will be in the 200m event.

The Men’s 100m poster, photo by Kip Keino Classic

Ukraine is well represented in the women’s High Jump competition, with four athletes participating. They are led by two-time world silver medalist and world indoor champion Yaroslava Mahuchikh, and the other three are Yulia Levchenko, Marina Kuvtonova, and Kateryna Tabashnyk.

Poland brings in the best Hammer Throwers to Nairobi in both the men’s and women’s throws. Three-time Olympic and four times world champion Anita Wlodarczyk will be back to defend her title from last year in the women’s throws.

Wojciech Nowicki, the Olympic champion and world silver medalist, will also return to defend his 2022 title in the men’s event.

South Africa’s will Prudence Sekgodiso, who ran a personal best time of 1:58.41 to win the race last year, will be back, hoping to defend her title against Kenya’s Mary Moraa in the women’s 800m event.

Botswana will have 400m African and Commonwealth Games’ Champion Isaac Makwala competing in the men’s 200m event.

There is a good representation in the distance events from the Eastern African region, consisting of Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda.