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Kenya to bid for 2017 IAAF World Youth

FAITH-CHEPNGETICHNAIROBI, Kenya, March 10 –Kenya will bid for the 2017 IAAF World Youth Championships in Nairobi, Athletics Kenya (AK) President Isaiah Kiplagat announced on Monday.

Speaking during the launch of second Safaricom Athletics Series, Kiplagat said they are waiting for Government endorsement letter to submit their application before April 4 deadline.

“It’s not a difficult event to organise since there will be about 150 countries coming so if the State gives us the go a head we will prepare the necessary documents and forward it to IAAF before the deadline,” the AK boss confirmed.

IAAF announced on March 7 on its website the opening of a new bid processes for several events including the 2017 World Youth.

The deadline for receipt of a Letter of Intent is April 7. The cities will then receive bid documentation by the end of April with completed bid applications and documentation to be handed in on September 22 with presentation to the IAAF Council and the final decision taking place in November.

The biennial global showpiece is open to athletes who are 17 years or younger but not under 14, and has acted as the springboard to international stardom for athletes such as multiple Olympics and Worlds sprint champion, Usain Bolt of Jamaica, 2011 double World champion, Vivian Cheruiyot and recently graduated two-time World Cross junior champion, Faith Chepng’etich among a multitude of others.

The event first ran in 1999 in Bydgoszcz, Poland where the world first saw Cheruiyot will next be held in Cali, Colombia in 2015 with Donetsk, Ukraine hosting the latest running last year.

Kenya hosted the 2007 IAAF World Cross in Mombasa with Nairobi, the preferred venue of the World Youth staging the 2010 Africa Athletics Championships.

At the same time, the AK boss stated they will select a strong relay team for inaugural IAAF World Relay Championships in Bahamas on May 23 and 24.

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“This is the first relay championships organized by IAAF, and there is no reason why we should not come back with four Gold Medals in 4 x 800m and 4 x 1500m men and women since Kenya is the world record holder.

“We may bank our hopes on 4 x 400 which won the African championships in Maputo, Mozambique and went on to fly our flag in London Olympics. This is one way of building sprinters in our country and I’m happy for the support we have received from Safaricom,” he added.

This year’s Safaricom Athletics Series will incorporate relay meetings that will be used to select team to represent the country in Bahamas.

Speaking while unveiling a sponsorship of Sh80m (USD923,788) Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore, said the introduction of Relay is in fulfillment of the company’s pledge to nurture the growth of short races in Kenya.

“The relay was born here at Kasarani when I was seeing off the 2012 London Olympics team, where the then captain David Rudisha, asked me to support the initiative, and I said why not, if we can do well in long distance we can also excel in short races.

“We made the commitment to support the short distance working together with Ministry of Sports and Athletics Kenya (AK). This is the beginning of our wide focus in athletics,” the Safaricom chief stated.

The national relay team will be selected during the trials that will be held in three phases at Safaricom Kasarani Stadium, starting March 22 with the preliminary, then head for April 5 for the second round before the finals on the weekend of April 26.

The mobile provider will also for the first time sponsor Deaf Athletics Association of Kenya (DAAK) Marathon under the series to be held in Kisumu after the success of DAAK athletics championships held last year.

This year’s series long distance races will start with the May 18 Deaf Athletics Marathon in Kisumu Country.

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Last years overall winners, men’s Full and Half Marathon team Nyansiongo and women’s champions from Nandi County, received Sh300, 000(USD 3,464.21 USD).

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