Preparations hit top gear as 49 days left to championships

Wednesday, June 30th, 2021 00:00 |
Junior athletes during a past Athletics Kenya event. Photo/PD/DAVID NDOLO

Organisers of the World under-20 championship have announced that  two Covid-19 bubbles will be built at Kasarani and Nyayo stadiums as well as 10 hotel bubbles for teams, officials and suppliers.

The event slated for August 17-22 will feature up to 1,300 athletes from 128 member federations making it the largest event for World Athletics since the onset of the pandemic.

“The World Under-20 Championships is a significantly larger event but our Health and Science Department is confident that these measures will scale up successfully to protect both the international teams and officials attending this event, and the local population in Nairobi,” World Athletics said in a statement.

Following a four-day inspection tour conducted by an expert team from the world governing body last month, the Kenyan government has also waived the 14-days quarantine upon arrival for all participants who will undergo the pre-event protocol as laid out by World Athletics and successfully trialled at the World Athletics Relays in Silesia in May.

In Silesia more than 7,000 Covid-19 tests were conducted on some 2000 participants (which included 700 team members from 31 countries), without a single case of infection at the event.

Similarly, the government will streamline visa application procedures instead of each individual having to request online, the government will issue visas to all accredited persons.

“We wish to thank both the Kenyan Government and the LOC for their tireless efforts to make sure the world’s best U20 athletes can gather safely in Nairobi in August for what is a key milestone in their development into elite senior international athletes,” said World Athletics President Sebastian Coe.

“The stars of tomorrow generally begin to shine in this competition, and it is important for the youth of Kenya – one of our sport’s most productive cradles of athletic talent – to see these future stars competing on their own soil and to dream of what is possible.

I want to reassure both the athletes and the people of Kenya that we will do our utmost to ensure their safety as the competition unfolds.”Sebastian added.

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