The president of Athletics Kenya, Lieutenant General Jackson Tuwei, and the Principal Secretary for Sports in Kenya, Ambassador Kirimi Kaberia, visited the IAAF headquarters in Monaco on Friday (22) to discuss Kenya’s bid to host the 2020 IAAF World U20 Championships.
After successfully hosting the World U18 Championships in Nairobi last year, with crowds of up to 60,000 in attendance, Kenya is keen to host the next level of global competition to add to its rich history in the sport.
“If we succeed with the world under 20 in 2020, we may even bid for the World Championships,” General Tuwei said.
Addressing the IAAF staff, General Tuwei said Athletics Kenya had embraced athletics at all levels, from youth and junior to senior and masters competition, but still faced challenges.
These included: talent identification and the nurturing of talent among Kenyan school children, diversifying the sport beyond Kenya’s famous distance running tradition and eliminating doping, which had emerged as an issue over the past 20 years.
General Tuwei and Ambassador Kaberia both said that Kenya was determined to eradicate doping in their country.
“Doping is cheating, it’s not right, it’s not fair,” General Tuwei said.
“We want our athletes to win clean and fair, as they did from the beginning.”
Ambassador Kaberia said the bid for the 2020 World U20 Championships was “very important” to Kenya and had strong government support.
He noted that 42 percent of Kenya’s population was under 15 (only 17 percent over 50) and sport was a vital component in the country’s development.
“I think we have a very strong team in Kenya,” he said. “Athletics is a very important part of our life. Everyone loves athletics in Kenya. You saw it during the world under 18 and you will see it again in 2020.”