Kenyan gov’t pulls the plug on Commonwealth Youth Games


Jonathan Muia Ndiku of Kenya on his way to victory in the Final of the ...
Jonathan Muia Ndiku of Kenya on his way to victory in the Final of the Men's 3000m Steeplechase (PHOTO/IAAF/Getty Images)

Kenya confirmed Tuesday it will not send a team to the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games due next month in Nassau with resources channeled toward the forthcoming IAAF World Under-18  championships.

In a letter addressed to the National Olympics Committee of Kenya (Nock), Director of Administration in the Ministry of Sports, Haroun Komen said the government is incapable of facilitating a team to the Bahamian capital for the sixth edition of the Games.

The July 19-23 Commonwealth Youth Games, which features athletics, boxing, judo, rugby sevens, swimming and tennis gets under way three days after the conclusion of the world under-18 track and field champs in Nairobi.

Concentration now shifts to hosting a successful Under-18 championship that is now only 29 days away.

“After due considerations and deliberations, I have been advised to inform you that we will not be in position to sponsor the team because most of resources have been committed to the World Under-18 Youth championships which Kenya is hosting,” Komen said in the letter to Nock, the national body responsible for the team’s participation at the Commonwealth Youth games.

“Subsequently, Kenya will not send a team to the Games.”

Kenya finished ninth behind winners Australia in the last Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa in September 2015, but the country is already facing a reputational challenge of its own in staging the under-18 athletics championships after several top nations, including the United States, Britain and Japan pulled out of the event, citing security concerns.

The July 12-16 championships will be the first IAAF global youth athletics event to be held in Africa. It 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 Matthews Mutai
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