NAIROBI, Kenya, October 14 – Athletics Kenya (AK) breathed a sigh of relief after the Ministry of Sports, Arts and Culture on Tuesday agreed to offer the required Government financial guarantees for the country’s 2017 IAAF World Youth Championships bid.
Federation’s president, Isaiah Kiplagat confirmed the State has supported their intentions to host the biennial event in Nairobi, and they will be sending the necessary document to Monaco before the extended deadline of October 31elapses.
“We met the minister and the permanent secretary this morning (Tuesday) and I’m glad to announce the minister is going to sign the document and by 4 o’clock they should be here to be dispatched to Monaco. The ministry has given us the go ahead to bid for the event.
“Once the bid is gone through there will be 20 delegates that will go to Monaco to defend the bid, adding two youth athletes who will go there as ambassadors and once we get everything then we can start hitting the road since we have done the technical part of it which is already in Monaco,” Kiplagat confirmed.
Earlier, AK expressed concerns that Kenya risked losing the hosting rights of the biannual showpiece that features athletes aged 17 and below, after they failed to meet the deadline submission of the Event Organization Agreement as well as the monetary guarantees from the State, forcing the deadline to be extended to October 31.
Kenya was able to meet the submission deadline of September 25 which marked the second stage of the bidding process for the global event, and should they submit the grants, then they will be invited to make the final presentation and defence of the bid which will take place in November 18 at the IAAF headquarters in Monaco in the prelude to the World Gala.
Kenya is competing with USA after Argentina withdrew, leaving the two countries to battle for the slot that will see the winner host over 150 nations and about 1,600 athletes in the two weeks of the global event.
Kenya and patron First Lady Margaret Kenyatta are proposing to host the event in the capital Nairobi and the bid committee has been working closely with the County and the Ministry of Sports, Culture and the Arts to meet the requirements set by the IAAF.
Famous athletes such as Janeth Jepkosgei, Vivian Cheruiyot and reigning Commonwealth champions Faith Chepng’etich and Mercy Cherono are glittering examples of luminaries who came to global attention at the World Youth not forgetting a certain Usain Bolt who shone at the 2003 edition aged 16.
The event first ran in 1999 in Bydgoszcz, Poland where double world champion Cheruiyot first came to notice with the 2015 event will be staged in Cali, Colombia with Donetsk, Ukraine hosting the latest running last year.