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Kenya expects over 2,000 athletes to take
part in U18 athletics championships

NAIROB (Xinhua) -- Kenya said on Tuesday a total of 2,000 athletes of various disciplines representing over 150 countries and regions are expected in Nairobi in July for 2017 International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) W-U18 championships.

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta said besides the sporting fraternity drawn globally, thousands of other visitors are also expected to arrive in the country to have a first-hand experience of Kenya, a country recognized internationally as a powerhouse of long distance runners.

“There is no doubt that we will receive many more hosting opportunities,” Margaret said when she launched the official website for the iconic event.

During the previous nine editions of the IAAF championships held in Poland, Germany, Canada, Morocco, Czech Republic, Italy, France, Ukraine and Colombia, Kenya has always emerged between positions 1-3 beating many other world sporting giants.

At the inaugural 1999 IAAF world U18 championships in Poland, Kenya emerged the No. one after beating 150 other countries and regions.

Kenya also finished second place in 2001 (Germany), 2005 (Morocco), 2007 (Czech Republic), 2011 (France), 2013 (Ukraine) and 2015 in Colombia.

Sporting enthusiasts are optimistic that no country can beat Kenya in athletics at home during the forthcoming championships.

Margaret said as patron, she will do whatever it takes to ensure the success of the championships adding that the event is a historic moment, not only for Kenya, but the entire East African region.

She said by staging a successful event, Kenya will be demonstrating to the world how capable the country is in delivering a world-class event.

“As patron, I see the upcoming Championships offer a fantastic opportunity for us to celebrate, applaud and recognize the diverse talents and abilities of youth across the world,” said Margaret.

Invitations have already been sent out to all the 214 IAAF members requesting them to send in names of athletes for the July 12-16 event. 




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