NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Kenya sports officials are basking in the glory
of hosting one of the most successful World U18 championships in
The officials now
want the world to take Kenya seriously as a sports destination.
President Jack Tuwei says the event success has unlocked the
potential the country has to stage other top competition even
beyond track and field.
Kenya spent over 2
billion U.S. dollars to stage the event including buying new
“We have proved to
the world that we have the fans and the stadium. Now we need to
get sponsors and bid for bigger competitions,” he said.
Championships and continental football competitions are on the
card, though the reluctance with the government to endorse such
bids remains the biggest hurdle.
During the five day
World Under-18 Championships in Athletics Kenya finished fourth
overall after bagging 15 medals in total (four gold medals,
seven silver and four bronze medals) behind South Africa, China
However the absence
of giants United States of America, Canada, Britain, New
Zealand, Australia, Switzerland and Japan leaves a lot to be
desired. The seven countries opted not to risk sending their
teams to Kenya citing security concerns.
But as the curtain
came down on the championship, Local Organising Committee
chairman Jack Tuwei said he was impressed with the standards
shown by Kenyan teams and organisers.
“I’m happy with our
team for emerging fourth overall though they had many medals
than other countries. They have done us proud and that should be
the way to go in future events,” said Tuwei.
He also said that
the success of the event showed that Kenya can host one leg of
the IAAF Diamond League Series and even the Senior World
Championships in Athletics.
“Our ability to
deliver this event to success has shown that we can even have a
Diamond League series or World Championships and I want to thank
the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) for
believing in us,” added Tuwei.