NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 7 – Kenya will be out to start a new decade in a sparkling fashion in the busy sporting 2020 as the nation seeks to stamp its authority in sports where the Tokyo Olympic Games and the World Under-20 Athletics Championships will be the highlight.
Kenya will be in action in various disciplines this year including the return of the prestigious Safari Rally to the World Rally Championship (WRC) for the first time in over a decade, but athletics will take the huge chunk as the athletics powerhouse country hope to continue the dominance.
Sports Permanent Secretary Ambassador Kirimi Kaberia told Capital Sport that the government will start early preparations to ensure Kenya posts positive results.
“It’s an extremely busy sporting year for Kenya, we have the Olympics, World Rally Championship, European Tour and the World Under-20, all of them have a big significance in our sporting family and to organize participate in all those it is going to be quite something,” Kaberia noted.
“We have a lot of work to do and there is no room for break, we will hit the ground running because the deadlines for some events are around the corner, by the end of January, we have to be done with a few things with Under-20 and do bookings for Olympics,” Kaberia underlined.
The first event will be the 2019 Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year Awards (SOYA) that returns to Mombasa County for the second year running with the 16th edition to be held January 24.
The annual awards gala aims to appreciate and recognize sports personalities who shone in 2019.
Thereafter, the Africa Cross Country Championship to be held March 1 in Lome, Togo will kick-start the busy athletics season followed by the World Indoor Championships in China, then the Africa Senior Athletics championships in Algiers, Algeria.
The year will also see the biannual World Half Marathon held in Poland. The Olympic Games Trials for athletics that is always dubbed ‘mini Olympics’ will be held in July at the Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Eldoret to select a team that will lead Kenya to the medal haunt.
But before the Olympics, Kenya will host the World Athletics Under-20 Championships at the Moi International Sports Center Kasarani, hoping to better the 2017 event that they hosted at the same venue.
The big one, the Summer Olympic Games will be the focal point, running from July 24-August 9 where Kenya will be hoping to improve from the Rio 2016 display where they hauled 13 medals (6 gold, 6 silver, 1 bronze).
In addition to the Magical Kenya Open Golf tournament that will be under the European Tour for the second year running, Rally fans will be able to enjoy the return of the Safari Rally back in the World Rally Championship (WRC) calendar in July.
Apart from the seasonal major city marathons, the national football team Harambee Stars will be in action, seeking a return to the Africa Cup of Nations when they continue with their 2021 Cup of Nations Qualifiers against Togo, Comoros and Egypt.
Kenya Simbas will have a year to smile as the Africa Rugby Gold Cup return after missing last year as Kenya 15s will take on Morocco and Ivory Coast in Group B.
-Kenya’s Main Event 2020-
SOYA Awards – January 24 (Mombasa)
Africa Cross County Championships – March 1 (Athletics) Lome, Togo
World Indoor Championships – March 13-15 (Athletics) China
Magical Kenya Open European Tour – March 12-15 (Golf) Karen Country Club, Nairobi
World Half Marathon – March 29 (Athletics) Poland
Kenya Simbas V Morocco – May 30 (Rugby) Kenya
Olympic Games Kenya Trials – June 19-21 (Athletics) Eldoret, Kenya
Africa Senior Athletics Championships – June 27 (Athletics) Algiers, Algeria
Ivory Coast V Kenya Simbas- June 27 (Rugby) Abidjan, Ivory Coast
World Under-20 Athletics Championships – July 7-12 (Athletics), Kasarani, Nairobi
World Rally Championship (Safari Rally) – July 19 (Motorsport), Kenya
Olympic Games – July 24- August 9 – (Games) Tokyo, Japan
Paralympic Games – August 24- September 9 (Games) Tokyo, Japan
Kenya V Comoros – August 31 – (Football) 2021 AFCON Qualifiers, Kasarani
Comoros V Kenya – September 8 (Football) 2021 AFCON Qualifier, Moroni
Kenya V Egypt – October 5 (Football) 2021 AFCON Qualifier – Kasarani
Togo V Kenya – November 5 (Football) 2021 AFCON Qualifier – Kasarani