Why Faith Kipyegon, Sha'Carri Richardson and other top stars will miss the 2024 Kip Keino Classic

ATHLETICS Why Faith Kipyegon, Sha'Carri Richardson and other top stars will miss the 2024 Kip Keino Classic

Abigael Wafula 16:32 - 28.03.2024

Here is why quality athletes like double world record holder Faith Kipyegon, and world 100m champion Sha'Carri Richardson will miss the Kip Keino Classic.

The 2024 Kip Keino Classic scheduled for Saturday, April 20 at the Nyayo National Stadium will receive a major setback since many star-studded athletes will not be available for the continental showpiece.

The 2024 Diamond League Meeting will begin on April 20 in Xiamen, China and several athletes have confirmed participation in the Diamond League opener.

Last year’s 200m champion Sha’Carri Richardson has opted to attend the Diamond League meaning she won’t be competing in Kenya. Double world record holder Faith Kipyegon has also confirmed participation in the Diamond League, meaning she won’t be in the country.

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Double World record holder Faith Kipyegon will also miss out on this year’s edition of the Kip Keino Classic since she will be competing in Xiamen.

The fields in Xiamen will be deep with the presence of 12 Olympic gold medallists and 27 world champions who will light up the spectacular Egret Stadium. Kipyegon, a two-time Olympic champion and four-time world champion, has not been beaten in a 1500m since 2021 but she faces a stern test over her specialist distance in Xiamen.

The mother of one will take on 10 women who have run below four minutes, including Gudaf Tsegay of Ethiopia, the reigning world 10,000m champion who holds the 5000m world record and world indoor 1500m record.

Other Ethiopians in the mix include Diribe Welteji, last year’s world 1500m silver medallist and the reigning world road mile champion, along with Freweyni Hailu, who recently won the world indoor 1500m title in Glasgow.

In the men’s pole vault, Mondo Duplantis is one of four men to have soared over 6m and he will have to be near his best in Xiamen to beat US trio Christopher Nilsen, Sam Kendricks and KC Lightfoot.

Duplantis will be keen to make a flying start to the outdoor season as he eyes a second Olympic title in Paris.

The men’s 100m will feature a clash between sprint superpowers USA and Jamaica, with the US charge led by former world 100m champions Fred Kerley and Christian Coleman, who will be keen to get one over on Jamaican rivals such as Yohan Blake, the former world 100m champion and Olympic silver medallist. Ackeem Blake, who recently won the world indoor 60m bronze, and Rohan Watson, who won the Jamaican title last year in 9.91 will be in the mix.

Richardson will compete in the 200m where the chief threat might come from fellow sub-22-second athletes Tamara Clark and Anavia Battle of USA. The women’s 3000m steeplechase also features the full medal rostrum from last year’s world final as Winfred Mutile Yavi looks to continue her winning ways against Kenya’s Beatrice Chepkoech and Faith Cherotich.

Canada’s Marco Arop is the star name in the men’s 800m, where the reigning world champion will go up against Kenya’s Wycliffe Kinyamal and USA’s Clayton Murphy, the 2016 Olympic bronze medallist.