Explainer: Why the Nyayo National Stadium had to be reopened to host Kenyan Olympic trials

Explainer: Why the Nyayo National Stadium had to be reopened to host Kenyan Olympic trials

Abigael Wafula 11:03 - 07.06.2024

Athletics Kenya Nairobi Chair Barnaba Korir has explained why the Ulinzi Sports Complex could not be used to host the Kenyan Olympic trials as earlier stated.

With the closure of the Nyayo National Stadium and the Moi International Sports Center in Kasarani, athletes were found in a state of dilemma as Olympic glory beckons and many might be asking why the Ulinzi Sports Complex cannot be used for events that will help athletes qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

The two major stadiums have been closed for renovations but the Nyayo National Stadium will have to be opened for the Kenyan Olympic trials scheduled for June 14 and 15 with some of the field events, including shot put and discuss to be held at the indoor arena in Kasarani.

Athletics Kenya Nairobi Chair Barnaba Korir explained that the Ulinzi Sports Complex is not a certified stadium by World Athletics hence all the results posted at the event cannot be recognised.

He added that the stadium is newly-built and World Athletics officials are yet to check the stadium out, adding that if it was certified, Athletics Kenya would be more than willing to host the event there.

Korir also explained that athletes had caused an online uproar with some even planning to boycott the trials and they had to consult the Ministry of Sports to reopen the stadium for the trials before continuing with the renovations.

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“We have an issue with Ulinzi and it’s a new stadium, we could have been excited to use that stadium. Unfortunately, when it was completed, it is yet to be certified by World Athletics.

“Therefore, if somebody runs, especially in the field events and sprints, if that person runs and qualifies, that time will not be accepted. Any competition that is done there has not been approved by World Athletics,” Korir said.

He also noted that it will be another chance for athletes who are yet to qualify for the global bonanza to try their luck once again.

“Any other record broken there is not valid…and it’s not even the records, but even when you qualify, it’s not going to be accepted and that’s why you found that we were insisting that we have to use Nyayo because it is a certified stadium and it’s recognised by World Athletics.

“That’s why we are moving from Ulinzi to Nyayo and that’s why athletes were insisting to have the trials held in Nyayo so that anyone who has a chance to qualify can be given that opportunity and that’s why we,” Korir added.