Kenya to bid for major championship after WU18 success

Kenyan Athletes after the completion of the WU18 championship at Moi sports centre Kasarani stadium,...
Kenyan Athletes after the completion of the WU18 championship at Moi sports centre Kasarani stadium,Nairobi in July 16,2017. Photo/Tabitha Otwori/

After hosting a successful World Junior Championships, Kenya will seek the approval of IAAF to host a high profile championship the proportion of Diamond League and a World Athletics showpiece.

According to the CEO of the recent concluded IAAF World under 18 championships Mwangi Muthee, delivering on the junior championships has set the bar high and Kenya will once again make a formal bidding to Athletics Governing Body IAAF to bring key profile games to Kenya for the first time.

Muthee, speaking to a media briefing said that the efforts put to organize and host World Under 18 championships will not go to waste as it is not the only event they would wish to host.

“We would not want to host just a single event, we would be proud to host not just athletics but other sports like The World Rugby series or even the Olympics because we have shown that we can do it.”

His sentiments were echoed by Athletics Kenya (AK) President Major Gen. (Rtd) Jacskon Tuwei who said Kenya’s success at the Under 18 championships has put the country on the global spot and insisted that the country could go as far as hosting the World Senior athletics championships.

“Maybe we could have bid for another event now that the world under 18 is over, we can only bid for the next one as mentioned by IAAF President Lord Sebastian Coe that Kenya could bid for the World Championships but it requires a lot of planning,” Tuwei said.

After surpassing everyone’s expectations, Kenya will now make a formal bid to host a major championship and is expected to start receiving official papers from IAAF in a move that is seen as over ambitious.

-Record attendance-

Perharps the Key highlights to the success of the world under 18 championships is the turn out of fans in their thousands who thronged the Kasarani stadium to witness and be part of the final edition of the  world under 18 championships.

It would not go without notice that in the recent past Kenya has broken all manner of records  but the one that will remain in everyone’s memory including the IAAF is the attendance record in a major World Under 18 championships which Kenyans owned to the sheer delight of IAAF.

No one, including the event organizers, IAAF and the Athletics Kenya could imagine that a 60,000-seater Kasarani could be filled to capacity after the low turn out in the opening two days of the championships but it happened, estimated 50,000 spectators showed up on Saturday making it the highest ever attended event of its kind.

That record was shattered on Sunday when the AK declared no more space was available after a mammoth 60,000 spectators made their way to the stadium with an estimated 30,000 more turned away.

 An overwhelmed Muthee, a former Kenya Rugby Union Chairman expressed his delight thanking the Kenyans who sacrificed their time to attend the event and the Media for playing an integral role in the entire 5 days of the championships.
 “I want to thank all Kenyans for the support they showed during this championships they proved to the world that indeed sports can unite us all”

” want to thank the media for the key role they played during this championships and urging Kenyans to show up for the games,” Muthee reiterrated.

-CHAN approval-
With a few weeks remaining to the deadline of August 20th, Kenya now looks to beat CAF’s Africa Nations Championships (CHAN) deadline.
Kenya has not yet received the Nod to host the tournament but perhaps the success of the world under-18 could sell a positive image that Kenya can live up to the task of hosting such high profile sports event.
Only Kasarani has so far been approved to host the tourney with the remaining 4 stadiums still in doubt even as the county governments work round the clock to upgrade the facilities.
Gears now shifted to full throttle and even as deadline day edges closer,  there is still hope that the rights to host the  tourney will not be stripped off.
FKF Nick Mwendwa, who is currently attending CAF congress in Morocco is hopeful that the championships will be brought home.

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