NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The Confederation of Africa Athletics (CAA) has
chosen Abidjan to stage next year’s Under-20 Championships.
Speaking to Xinhua, CAA President Hamad Malboum Kalbaba talked
up the hosting potential of Cote d’Ivoire’s largest city.
“We chose Cote
d’Ivoire, because Ivorian athletics has a history. We are
convinced that the potential lies there. Cote d’Ivoire can
organize such a competition. The country has hosted the
Francophone games in Abidjan. For us, this is a way to express
our gratitude to the Ivorian government,” Kalkaba said on
Kalkaba, who met
with Cote d’Ivoire’s Minister of Sports Danho Paulin and the
country’s National Olympic Committee President Lassana Palenfo,
said the continental body is impressed with the preparations
being done by Cote d’Ivoire.
Hosting the junior
athletics championships will, according to Kalkaba, help spur
the growth of the sport in the football-mad country.
“We are asking the
Ivorian Athletics Federation to look for talents in rural areas
and schools. It is in these places that true champions of
tomorrow are hidden. All young people must be given the
opportunity to put their skills to the test,” said Kalkaba.
During the last
African Youth Championships in Reduit, Mauritius, participants
from 27 countries took part in, with Kenya dominating the
middle- and long-distance races, while South Africa led the way
in the sprints and field events.
dominance will likely be put to test, with top performances
expected from hosts Cote d’Ivoire, as well as Nigeria, Cameroon
The CAA will also
hold its general assembly in Abidjan, where new officials will
be elected ahead of the championships.