The fifth Kip Keino Classic was held April 20, 2024 and Justin Lagat was there. This is his story for RunBlogRun. 

The men’s hammer throw and the men’s 200m were among the events that provided great competitions and world-leading performances at the 5th edition of the Kip Keino Classic World Athletics Continental Tour Gold.

Courtney Lindsay defeats Letsile Tebogo over 200m, in 19.71 ! photo by KIP KEINO CLASSIC

 

Botswana’s Letsile Tebogo came in as the favorite star in the men’s 200m race, coming in with two world-leading times, a world-best time of 30.69 and a world-leading 44.29 in the 400m. However, he will now be going back to Botswana with just one having lost the 400m WL mark to his countryman, Bayapo Ndori, who ran a world-leading time of 44.10 here in a race where USA’s Bryce Deadmon was second in a seasonal best of 44.41 ahead of another Botwanan, Leungo Scotch in a personal best of 44.54. In fourth place in that 400m race Kenya’s Zablon Ekwam was beside himself with an Olympic qualifying time and a personal best of 44.69.

In the 200m, USA’s Lindsey Courtney had a great start and led after the bend, registering a new world-leading time of 19.71. Courtney got the win in a photo-finish with Tebogo. Tebogo registered the same time as his season’s best.

 

Canada’s Ethan Katzberg threw a unique world-leading and meeting record of 84.38m in the men’s hammer throw, a mark that was the furthest in the last sixteen years. This event had been expected to be a big competition between the reigning Olympic Champion, Wojciech Nowicki of Poland, reigning world champion and 2022 – 2023 winner at the Kip Keino Classic; Pawel Fajdek, the reigning world champion from Budapest, and the 2022 world champion. Mykhaylo Kokhan of Ukraine came second with a seasonal best throw of 80.76m, ahead of Nowicki’s 79.14m.

The 800m races endeared Kenyan fans as Mary Moraa and Emmanuel Wanyonyi featured prominently.

Mary Moraa delivers the world leader over 800m at the Kip Keino Classic, photo by KIP KEINO CLASSIC

As expected, Moraa, the dancing queen of the women’s 800m event, easily won her special event after a solid finish to stretch the gap in the home stretch. Paced by her sister, the reigning world champion went through the first 400m in early 56 seconds. She maintained the inside lane in the last lap and controlled the pace before extending the lead in the home straight to finish in a new meeting record of 1:57.96. Vivian Chebet Kiprotich finished second in 1:58.26, while Nelly Jepkosgei of Bahrain finished third in 1:58.93.

Kenny Bednarek wins the 100m at 2024 Kip Keino Classic, photo courtesy of KIP KEINO CLASSIC/Continental Tour Gold

Wanyonyi again began his year with a world-leading time at the Kip Keino Classic, just like last year. The crowds in the stadium literally bowed down to Wanyonyi after the spectacular world-leading time of 1:43.57. Aaron Cheminingwa, the recently crowned African Games champion, finished second in a personal best of 1:44.10 ahead of Ferguson Rotich, who ran 1:44.90 to complete the podium.

USA’s Kenneth Bednarek had a great evening, winning the men’s 100m in 9.91 ahead of Emmanuel Matadi of Liberia (9.99) and Jeremiah Azu of Great Britain (10.00).

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