CS Wario says Kenya to snub African U20 Games

Athletes during athletics trials for World Under 18 and Africa Under 20 Championship at the Nyayo national ...
FILE: Athletes during athletics trials for World Under 18 and Africa Under 20 Championship at the Nyayo national stadium on June 13, 2017. Photo/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha/Citizen

Kenya is unlikely to participate at the African Junior Athletics Championships set for June 29 to July 2 with the Government non-committal on sending a team for the 13th edition of the Games.

Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture and the Arts, Dr. Hassan Wario said they were unaware Kenya is prepping a team for the biennial continental showpiece that will be held in Tlemcen, Algeria.

Wario made the statement shortly after attending the National Trials for the IAAF World Under 18 championships in Nairobi that are set to be staged in the Kenyan capital between July 12–16.

According to Wario, hosting a successful competition remains the Government’s top priority with the chunk of resources already channeled toward meeting the objective.

“We can’t be everywhere at the same time so we have to focus our energy here. We have to put our best foot forward on the Under 18 championships, host a spectacular event, and hopefully win it as the hosts,” Wario said. “It’s a huge undertaking.”

His comments resonate with the fact Kenya has already withdrawn from the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games due next month in Nassau, Bahamas due to a lack of resources.

Preparations for the World Under 18 championships are on the homestretch with Wario stating final touches are being applied on the warm-up track as other logistical preparations including hostels and hotels for athletes and IAAF official are underway.

“IAAF have been inspecting each step of the way so the Stadium (Moi International Sports Center, Kasarani) is ready. We are almost completing the installation of the tartan track and the warm-up area track,” the official said.

The Nairobi edition will be the first IAAF global youth athletics event to be held in Africa and will also be the final edition of the championships as the IAAF shifts its focus from the under-18 age group to continental championships.

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Story By Abdi Rizack
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