This is Justin Lagat’s preview about the Sirikwa Classic World Cross Country, which will be held on February 4, 2023.
With runners from a number of countries already confirmed; including Eritrea, Estonia, Sweden, Norway, Ukraine, Uganda, Great Britain, Slovenia, Bahrain, Qatar, Tanzania, Turkey, and Germany, with others yet to confirm their participation by Wednesday; the 2023 Sirikwa Classic Cross Country event is set to be big.
“Last year, we had around 7,000 spectators who came to watch the event, and we expect to have over 10,000 this year,” said the Athletics Kenya president.
A new name and logo were unveiled this Friday, the 27th, at the Lobo village, Kapseret. The logo has four runners of different ages, nationalities, and gender, signifying that it involves everybody. The name has also been changed from “Agnes Tirop Memorial” to “Sirikwa Classic.”
“Some people sat and researched a legendary name that befits this area in Uasin Gishu and came up with the name Sirikwa, which was the name given to the ancient tribe who used to live here a long time ago,” the Chairman of the LOC, Ibrahim Hussein said during the unveiling of the logo.
Sirikwa Classic World Cross Country logo, from LOC
Present during the event’s media launch was the governor of Uasin Gishu, Hon. Jonathan Bii; the president of Athletics Kenya, retired Gen. Jackson Tuwei; the Competition Director, Mr. Barnaba Korir and the secretary general of the Kenya National Olympic Committee, Mr. Francis Mutuku. There were also representatives from different sponsors led by Julius Songok, the regional manager of the Absa Bank, which will be the main sponsor, among other dignitaries.
“We want to celebrate the tenacity of the Kenyan runners and amplify their exciting stories to inspire a new generation of runners,” Songok said as he announced a significant amount of money for the big event.
Korir expressed gratitude and heaped many praises on the Athletics Kenya management, led by Tuwei, for continuing to bring significant athletics events into the country. Despite the negativity from doping incidences, he observed that the federation had done exceptionally well in other sectors.
AK president participating in tree planting ahead of the media launch
“It is in the tenure of our current AK president that Kenya has managed to host the World U18 championships, the World U18 championships, the Kipkeino Classic World Athletics Continental gold event three times, and the World Cross Country Tour event. Behind the scenes has been the Athletics Kenya president fighting to get the permit to host these events. Other countries fight to get these events, and we really appreciate the opportunity,” Korir said.
The event will involve several categories. Besides the senior categories, there will also be the U18, the U20, the Relays, and possibly masters’ events that the organizers are still checking if they will fit into the program.
To find more out about the Sirikwa Classic World Cross Country, please go to the site, https://www.sirikwaclassic.com/