Kenya wants to bid for more sporting events of international stature in future after successfully hosting the 2017 IAAF World U18 Championship that ended on Sunday at Kasarani Stadium after bringing together 131 countries around the globe.
Athletics Kenya (AK) president Jackson Tuwei says the country has proved itself to the rest of the world and disapproved sceptics at the same time on its ability to hold world class championships.
“Our bargaining power has improved a great deal from the way we handled the just-concluded championship which gives us more confidence going forward to bid for other international events.
It was a big success for Kenya, courtesy of the teamwork we marshaled,” said Tuwei. Kenya finished fourth after bagging 15 medals, four gold, seven silver and four bronze as South Africa carried home the top prize with 11 medals (five gold, three silver and three bronze) and despite missing the overall title, Tuwei believes the country got more than just the medals from hosting the juniors’ competition.
is sentiments were echoed by World U18 Championships Local Organising Committee CEO Mwangi Muthee, who said: “We have tremendous potential if we believe in our abilities and I think the successful handling of this event heralds great things for Kenya in terms sports on the international front.
This is an achievement we must strive to protect and uphold.” Tuwei now says the country will not hesitate to approach IAAF with a quest to either host one of the 14 Diamond League Meetings or bid for the World Under 20 Championships in 2020.
Pertaining Kenya’s overall performance, the two officials expressed the need to empower technical personnel to train and nurture young athletes to match the level of other countries, with Tuwei admitting Kenya has more to do.