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Timothy Cheruiyot of Kenya celebrates winning gold in the Men's 1500 metres final during day ten of 17th IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 at Khalifa International Stadium on October 06, 2019 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Athletics

Relief for athletes as President Kenyatta announces opening of airport

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 6 – Kenyan athletes have breathed a collective sigh of relief after President Uhuru Kenyatta announced on Monday that the Kenyan airspace will be open for international flights beginning August 1.

The Kenyan airspace has been closed since April when the Government announced containment measures to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the re-organized international athletics calendar scheduled to gun off on August 14 with the Monaco leg of the Diamond League, athletes will now train with hope that they can compete in the French resort city.

Elijah Manangoi and Timothy Cheruiyot had already confirmed they were planning to run in the race and with the announcement that the airports will be opened under strict conditions, there is renewed hope they will start their season.

Meanwhile, the news of the airport re-opening is a huge relief for organizers of the World Athletics Continental Tour which has been scheduled for September 26. This might also be a sign that the World Under-20 Championship might be rescheduled for 2021.

Meanwhile, hopes of sportsmen and women returning to the pitch soon have been quashed with the President announcing a further 30-day ban on social and public gatherings.

The Ministry of Sport has however set up a team made up of stakeholders from all sporting disciplines to explore the possibilities and guidelines for sports to resume in the country.

CS Amina Mohamed chaired a meeting with several Federation representatives on Monday morning to brainstorm on what is needed for safe return of sports.

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