IAAF has granted Kenya’s capital city Nairobi the hosting rights for the 2020 World U20 Athletics Championships.
Nairobi’s candidacy was formally endorsed the athletics global body’s council in Buenos Aires on Friday.
The event is scheduled for July 7-12, 2020.
By hosting an outstanding final edition of the IAAF World U18 Championships last year, Nairobi demonstrated its readiness to take the next step as a championship host.
Crowds of up to 60,000 attended the U18 Championships at Nairobi’s Moi International Sports Centre, creating an exciting atmosphere for the young athletes who had gathered from around the globe, and those attending the 2020 event can expect the same experience.
During a recent visit to the IAAF headquarters in Monaco, the Principal Secretary for Sports in Kenya, Ambassador Kirimi Kaberia, 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.
“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,” he said.
IAAF president Sebastian Coe noted the Kenyan Government’s strong support for the Nairobi bid and said it would be an ideal host for the championships.
“The U20 Championships showcases the future of our sport so Kenya, with a young and enthusiastic population and such a rich history in athletics, is a perfect fit for us,” Coe said.
“We hope that awarding these championships will further encourage the development of athletics in Kenya and all over Africa, which is such a vibrant part of our international federation.”
Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Sports and Heritage, the Honourable Rashid Echesa said:
“On behalf of the Kenyan Government, I would like to say that we welcome the decision that has been reached by the IAAF top brass to settle on the Republic of Kenya to host the prestigious IAAF World U20 Championships in the year 2020. It is indeed a great honour to be considered and selected to host the event. On behalf of Kenyan Government, I assure you that we will ensure that we put our best foot forward and put the necessary plans, systems and structures in place to ensure that the event runs smoothly and successfully. We welcome the world to Kenya.”
The president of Athletics Kenya, Lt Gen (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei said:
“The Executive Committee of AK, athletes and entire athletics fraternity are very excited to receive the good news from the IAAF that Kenya has been selected to host the WU20 in 2020. It is indeed a great honour to us all, particularly the great athletes who have significantly contributed to the development of world athletics over the years. All are welcomed back to Kenya, the home of heroes.”