By JONATHAN KOMEN
|Abraham Kiplimo and Geofrey Kusuro of Uganda competes in the men’s 5000m heats during day six of the 13th IAAF World Athletics Championships at the Daegu Stadium, last September. [PHOTO: COURTESY]|
The world athletics scene, especially in middle and long distance running, has been turned into an East African affair.
And their bids for hosting rights of IAAF World Events will no doubt keep their fire burning.
In an IAAF Council sitting in Dakar in Senegal on Tuesday, Kenya’s Letters of Intent to host the 10th IAAF World Youth Championships in 2017 and Uganda’s bid for the 2017 IAAF World Cross Country Championships were tabled by IAAF.
In State House last July, Athletics Kenya President Isaiah Kiplagat appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta for Government nod. And it was granted.
Nairobi and Greensboro in USA are candidates for bi-annual global event.
The IAAF World Youth Championships bid would be Kenya’s second IAAF World Championship after the 2007 World Cross Country Championships in Mombasa.
Neighbours Uganda, who are fresh from hosting the third Africa Cross Country Championships are bidding to host the 41th edition of the IAAF World Cross Country Championships at the same Kololo Ceremonial grounds in 2017.
Bahrain’s Manama city is the other candidate for the event, which turned bi-annual for the first time in Poland.
In the IAAF meeting, Letters of intent from candidate cities interested in hosting a number of competitions of the IAAF World Athletics Series (WAS) 2017-2019 were received by the federation’s Council.
The IAAF Council restated again the universal reach and popularity of the sport of athletics and were delighted to note that national Member Federations from five of the six continental Areas have confirmed themselves as candidates across the four IAAF World Athletics Series events involved.