Three times Olympic champion and Jamaican Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce delivered the signature performance of the 2022 Kip Keino Classic Continental Tour clocking a seasonal best time of 10.67 secs in the 100M at the 3rd edition held at Kasarani stadium.
Also sharing in the limelight at a vociferous stadium was African record holder and local favourite, Ferdinand Omanyala who stormed to a world leading 9.85 victory in the corresponding men’s 100m.
Kenyan President Uhuru and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta joined thousands of fans who created a cracking atmosphere at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani during the third edition of Africa’s only Gold Label Continental Tour meeting.
“I’m grateful for the welcome I have received here, and the crowd was amazing. I promised a good race and winning here today gives me a lot of confidence for the season.
“To come here and run a fast time in front of all these cheering people is great,” the delighted four-time Olympic and 10-time world champion said.
The corresponding men’s race was programmed to be the last event of the day thanks to the star power of Omanyala, who made history at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics when he became the first Kenyan to qualify for the final.
After a false start, all the athletes were given the green card after it was blamed on a technical issue and once the gun went off for a second time, Omanyala raced off the blocks and started pulling away from Kerley midway to send the stadium into raptures.
Kerley repeated his position from Tokyo in 9.92 with fellow American, Isiah Young rounding off the podium in 10.13.
Canadian Aaron Brown succeeded Kerley as the Kip Keino men 200m champion in 20.05 after edging out American Kyree King (20.08) and former African champion, Isaac Makwala (20.31).
“I wanted to run a sub-20. I am happy with the time I have posted considering this is a high altitude. In the meantime, before I leave on 10th for Doha I intend to go on a Safari and enjoy the Kenyan hospitality,” the Canadian sprinter said.
Aminatou Seyni of Niger won the women’s longer dash in 22.43 ahead of American pair Shannon Ray (22.84) and Dezerea Bryant (22.92)
As expected, Kenyans dominated the middle- and long-distance events of the programme, with teenager Emmanuel Wanyonyi continuing his rise to prominence when he took the top honours in the men 800m in 1:45.01.
Ugandan women’s 3000m steeplechase Olympic champion, Peruth Chemutai was relegated to the bronze medal in 9:20.07 with Kenya-born Kazakhstani, Norah Jeruto, a former African champion took the race in 9:04.95 ahead of Kenya’s Faith Cherotich 9:12.04.
“This was my first race of the season and I’m happy with the performance. It’s still early and I have a lot of training to do before the World Championships,” Chemutai remarked.
Abel Kipsang led the Kenyan sweep in the men’s 1500m in 3:31.01 ahead of Reynold Kipkorir and Kumari Taki rounding off the podium places .
Olympic, world and European champion, Anita Wlodarczyk of Poland reigned supreme in the women’s Hammer on her first event in Africa with a world leading throw of 78.06.
American Janee Kassanavoid took silver in 76.82 ahead of Vanessa St