Kenya banking on 2020 U20 success to host 2025 World Championships
By Amos Abuga
Kenya stands to make history should their bid to host the 2025 World Athletics Championships in Nairobi, be successful.
With the 2021 event having already been awarded to the United States, the next available championships to bid for is 2023 and 2025.
Athletics Kenya (AK) president Jackson Tuwei believes a successful World Under-20 Championships to be held in Nairobi next year, will be crucial to the bid he tabled last week during the IAAF convention.
"We have goodwill and message of support from our government and president Uhuru Kenyatta. As a country, we are hoping that successfully hosting the 2017 Under-18 Championships will help our bid," said Tuwei, who is also the chairman of the 2020 U20 Local Organising Committee.
"The whole world will be watching how we fair in the championships next year and I believe a successful event will help our course. Remember, getting the hosting rights of the Under-20 was boosted by the Under-18 event which surpassed expectations," he added.
Questions of empty stadiums at the just-concluded 17th edition of the biennial Championships in Doha, Qatar have lead to many saying the event should be taken to places where athletics is adored and not forced on people and Tuwei tends to agree.
"I think everyone knows we did well especially with filling the stadium. That speaks volumes of how Kenyans and Africans will love to host such major events," said Tuwei.
Morocco is the only African country that stages an IAAF event through the annual Diamond League series.
Meanwhile, Team Kenya that finished second overall with 11 medals (five gold two silver and four bronze) in Doha returned to the country on Monday afternoon accompanied by Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed.
Timothy Cheruiyot won Kenya's final gold on Sunday when he succeeded stable-mate Elijah Manangoi as the men's 1,500m world champion adding to victories from Ruth Chepng'etich (women's marathon), Beatrice Chepkoech (women's 3,000m steeplechase), Conseslus Kipruto (men's 3,000m steeplechase) and Hellen Obiri (women's 5,000m).