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Kenya bids for 2017 World Youth championships

17 April 2014, 18:59

Nairobi - After staging a successful World Cross Country Championships in Mombasa in 2007, Kenya has thrown its hat in the ring yet again and this time is bidding to stage the 2017 World Youth Championships in Nairobi.

International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) confirmed on Tuesday it had received a letter of intent from Nairobi alongside two other cities Buenos Aires, Argentina and Greensboro, the United States.

"Letters of intent from candidate cities interested in hosting a number of competitions of the IAAF World Athletics Series (WAS) 2017-2019 have been received by the IAAF.

"This emphasizes once more the universal reach and popularity of the sport of athletics," said IAAF President Lamine Diack during the on-going IAAF Council meeting in Senegal.

"The council is delighted to note that national member federations from five of the six continental Areas have confirmed themselves as candidates across the four IAAF World Athletics Series events involved," said Diack in statement.

The IAAF Council will decide the host cities during its next meeting in Monaco in November.

Prior to that the potential hosts will need to present detailed bid dossiers and will also receive feedback from an IAAF Evaluation team to help them deliver the best possible case for their cities.

"At the moment we are not keen to talk about what it will cost to bring the competition to Kenya. The most important thing is that Kenya is ready to bid for this prestigious championship," said Isaiah Kiplagat, who is also in Dakar for the IAAF Council meeting.

"We are in the process of putting together a bid paper to IAAF. It is after our request is accepted that we will talk about what is required."

IAAF had announced on March 7 on its website the opening of a new bid processes for several events including the 2017 IAAF World Youth Championships, which is eligible for athletes aged 16 and 17 years.

"I have discussed with President Uhuru Kenyatta about us hosting the event and he is very positive around it. I also want to call upon the private corporations like Safaricom to come on board," added Kiplagat.

Kenya has successfully bid and won to host the 2007 World Cross Country Championships in Mombasa and also the 2010 Senior Africa Athletics Championships.

This gives it an upper hand in terms of equipment and personnel to stage the World Youth event. However, the small matter of altitude, with Nairobi sitting about 5500 metres above sea level, remains a concern.

The same applies for Buenos Aires. IAAF also confirmed that its premier event, the World Championships is still the most sought after.

With the hosts of the 2015 and 2017 editions already being decided, the IAAF invited candidates for the 17th edition of the event, which will take place in 2019.

The candidates for the 2019 World Championships are Doha (Qatar) , Barcelona (Spain) and Eugene (USA). The World Championships was first staged in 1983. It's the jewel of the IAAF World Athletics Series.

After the Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup, the IAAF World Championships are the third largest sporting event in the world based upon number of participating teams, athletes and global TV audience, which is 6 billion across over 200 territories accumulated across 9 days of competition.

The next two editions have already been awarded and are as follows: 2015 IAAF World Championships, Beijing, China (August 22- 30) and 2017 IAAF World Championships, London, UK (August 5-13).

Bidding situation for other IAAF World Athletics Series events 2017-2019 has Ostrava (Czech Republic) and Bydgoszcz (Poland) eyeing the 2018 IAAF Continental Cup.

Kampala in Uganda, hosts of the 2014 Africa Cross Country Championships in March, want to go a notch up as they are vying for the 2017 IAAF World Cross Country Championships. However, they have to contend with Manama (Bahrain).

- Xinhua

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