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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Over 150 countries and regions to compete
in World Youth championships in Nairobi 

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 their withdrawals.

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 week after.

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.

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