Britain withdraws from Nairobi 2017 IAAF World Youth


IAAF President Lord Sebastian Coe addresses the media after the passing of the reforms he ...
IAAF President Lord Sebastian Coe addresses the media after the passing of the reforms he championed on Saturday, December 3, 2016 in Monaco, Monte Carlo. PHOTO/IAAF

Former colonial masters Britain have snubbed the Nairobi 2017 IAAF World Youth Championships next July in favour of the Commonwealth Youth Games that will be held in same month in Bahamas.

In a statement released Wednesday, British Athletics confirmed they would not send a team to Nairobi in what is a complete about turn from the federation that assured Kenya and the IAAF they would send a team a fortnight ago.

“British Athletics has announced that they will not be sending an Under 18 British Athletics team to the IAAF World Youth Championships in Kenya, 12-16 July, 2017.

“The championships – set to be staged In Nairobi – are the last ever World level youth competition after the IAAF decided they would work with Area Associations to find a more appropriate competition structure for assisting the career development of under 18 age group athletes.

“With events such as the newly launched European Youth Championships in Tbilisi this year, opportunities at area-level competition for the youth age group are being further developed and British athletes will now focus their energies on qualifying for the Commonwealth Youth Games being staged in Nassau, Bahamas as part of their respective home country teams,” the statement posted on their website http://www.britishathletics.org.uk/.

Nairobi 2017 Local Organising Committee chairman and Athletics Kenya (AK) President, Lt. Gen (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei said on the sidelines of the IAAF Special Congress in Monaco, Monte Carlo that British Athletics officials had confirmed they would send a team.

“We heard reports that were not confirmed they would not send a team here. I asked them on the floor why they would not come and yet they expect us to send a team to the IAAF World Championships in London.

“They assured us they would be coming. IAAF President, Seb Coe is also coming to Nairobi and that was another good sign,” Tuwei added.

The withdraw of Team GB comes amid fears in some European countries over the security arrangements for Nairobi 2017 that made Tuwei stress all measures had been put in place to guard the visiting teams.

“The reason why we moved the event from Nyayo to Kasarani was to provide adequate security to everyone coming for the event. It is easier to coordinate everything from the stadium to the athletes’ village there,” the former Army chief stressed.

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