Kenya is set to launch a bid to host the athletics world championships in 2023 after successfully staging two other international competitions in the last 10 years.
No African nation has ever staged the sport’s flagship event, but Kenyan sports minister Hassan Wario said Kenya had shown its capability when it brought together athletes from 130 countries to compete in the IAAF World Under-18 Championships in Nairobi in July.
“We have shown that we are capable to host smaller events, and it has now reached a time when we should host big competitions,” said Wario at a welcome reception for Kenyan athletes who finished second overall at the just-concluded world championships in London, beaten only by the United States.
“Kenya became the first African nation to win the world championship in Beijing in 2015, it is only fitting that we should be the first country to bring the championships to Africa,” Wario said. “We have a plan to build three big stadiums in Nairobi, Mombasa and Eldoret and seven additional new ones in other parts of the country.”
Wario echoed the recent call by Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) president Hamad Kalkaba Malboum for Africa to be awarded the World Championships by 2025. Malboum said six African countries, including Kenya, are capable of hosting the event. The Qatari capital of Doha is set to host the 2019 IAAF World Championships before Eugene, Oregon, stages the 2021 edition.