NAIROBI, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday reiterated his government's commitment to upgrading sporting facilities in the country to match international standards.
Kenyatta, who was opening the refurbished Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi, said the redevelopment of that stadium is not an isolated case.
"Our endeavor is to ensure that our sporting facilities can compare favorably with the top addresses around the world. We are in the process of developing other sporting facilities throughout the country," he said in a statement issued after the opening ceremony.
Kenyatta directed Kenya's Ministry of Sports to work around the clock to ensure that several facilities currently under construction are completed and ready for delivery by the end of December.
Kenyatta said Kenya's athletes will add new pages to the country's long and celebrated history as a sporting powerhouse.
The newly-renovated Nyayo National Stadium will host the Kip Keino Classic - the first-ever World Athletics Continental Tour event to be held on the African continent - on October 3.
"The event named after our great hero and trailblazing Olympic champion, Kipchoge Keino, will bring together elite athletes from all over the world to compete in various track and field events," he said.
"Our being entrusted to host this global event is evidence of the confidence that the world has in our country and our levels of COVID-19 containment, as it will be the first global sporting event to be held on the African continent since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic," he added.
Kenyatta pointed out that the Kip Keino Classic and other sporting events to be held as the country gradually reopens will be conducted with strict adherence to all applicable COVID-19 protocols, guidelines and regulations.
"This will ensure that sportspersons, coaches, media and spectators are kept safe and healthy," President Kenyatta said.
He asked the Ministry of Sports to redouble its efforts in re-convening major sporting events that were postponed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I further direct the Ministry to resume preparation processes towards the Olympic and Paralympic Games and to engage with our local sports associations on how Kenyan athletes can resume competing in sporting events abroad," Kenyatta said.
He also wished Kenyan athletes success as they head out to compete in the London Marathon on October 4.