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Kenya to bid for 2023 World Athletics Championships
Last Updated: 2017-08-16 10:45 | Xinhua
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Buoyed by the success of hosting the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Under-18 World Athletics Championships in July in Nairobi, Kenya's athletics officials have announced their intention of placing a bid for the senior version of the athletics gala.

The President of Athletics Kenya (AK), Jackson Tuwei, said on Tuesday that Kenya will now aim for big international events after the youth global event opened a window of opportunities.

"Kenya has now joined the big league and from henceforth we are shifting focus on matters that pertain to our newly-acquired status," Tuwei said during the occasion to receive the team from this year's world championships in London where Kenya ranked second overall after the United States.

Tuwei said the slot for the 2019 championships has already been taken by Doha (Qatar) whereas Eugene (USA) will host the 2021 games hence their intention to go for 2023.

He however said the country will first place a bid for the World Under-20 Championships as a stepping stone to the senior event.

"We want to move progressively and we will soon request for bid documents from the IAAF for the junior games especially after successfully hosting the U18 competition," the AK chief said.

He said the global athletics body was very impressed with the Nairobi games and would like to work with Kenya again in staging a global showpiece.

"Everywhere we went around London, the talk was about the youth games held in Nairobi. The IAAF have promised to give us the bid documents for 2020 by the end of this year and we are willing to host the world again," Tuwei said.

The athletics chief said their proposal was heightened after IAAF president, Sebastian Coe, promised to give an African country a slot at the world event during his tenure of office.

Tuwei said the president of the Confederation of African Athletics, Kalkaba Malboum told a press conference in London that Kenya is among six countries in Africa that is capable of hosting a world championship. The others are Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria and South Africa.

He said IAAF will also consider Nairobi for a future Diamond League event as soon as the competition's program is re-arranged.

The team captain to the London event, Edna Kiplagat, who won the silver medal in the women's marathon, attributed the team's success to discipline and high team spirit.

Several members of the team remained in Britain to take part in the Birmingham Diamond League scheduled for Aug. 20.

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