NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Kenya is still hopeful athletes from over 150
countries and regions will compete at the World Youth Championships
to be staged in Nairobi in July despite several teams announcing
Kenya Sports Minister Hassan Wario announced Wednesday that the
country is pumping in over 70 million U.S. dollars to stage the
championships starting from July 12-16. Nairobi will host the last
event of the World Youth Championships this year.
The IAAF will no longer hold a world championship for U-18 athletes
after the July event. This will be the tenth annual and final world
championships for youth athletes.
However, the World U20 championships, formerly World Junior
Championships, will continue.
Jack Tuwei, Athletics Kenya President, said they have made personal
calls to over 150 nations and regions and sent invitation to all
IAAF member associations to honour the championship and he is
optimistic they will answer the call.
“We are all engaging with countries through IAAF to interest them in
competing in this event. We want everyone to come and have fun but
of course we have a few teams that have pulled out. It will not
however, discourage us,” said Tuwei.
Six countries led by athletics powerhouse U.S., Britain, Canada, New
Zealand, Australia, and Switzerland have all confirmed they will
give the event a bye citing security concern and preference for the
Youth Commonwealth Games to be staged in Nassau, Bahamas almost a
But Tuwei is hopeful their diplomacy will prevail and have more
countries and regions outside Africa and Asia compete in the event.
Kenya expects to receive all preliminary entries by April 12 which
will be an expression of interest in participating in the games to
be staged in Nairobi.
The deadline for confirmations has been set on June 12 and that’s
when the country will be able to know how many countries and regions
are interested in participating.