By Boris Esono Nwenfor
Jackson Tuwei, President of Athletics Kenya has confirmed that the country has put in a bid to host the 2025 edition of the World Athletics Championship. If confirmed as host, Kenya will become the first African country to host the biennial athletics competition.
The next edition of the World Athletics Championship has been scheduled for July 15, 2022 to July 24, 2022. World Athletics, the sport’s global governing body, is set to visit the bidding cities in early 2022 and could announce the hosts in March.
“We feel like Kenya is the spiritual home of athletics,” he told BBC Sport Africa.
“It has never been hosted in Africa and never been done in Kenya, so we believe that it is our time… We couldn’t have managed to get the bid document without government support and we are very grateful,” Tuwei added
Jackson Tuwei also believes that Kenya’s experience of hosting both the Under-20 World Athletics Championships earlier this year and the Under-18 version in 2017 sets them in good stead.
“We learnt a lot of lessons out of those two events and I believe we are now ready to act on those lessons we learnt,” he insisted.
The head of African athletics, Cameroonian Hamad Kalkaba Malboum, back in 2017 said he wanted the continent to host the 2025 World Championships, mentioning Kenya as a possible host.
Kenya has competed at every edition of the IAAF World Championships in Athletics since its inception in 1983. It has won the second highest number of gold medals at the championships (after the United States) and also has the second highest medals total (after the U.S.).
The nation typically sends medium-sized delegations of 40–50 athletes. Kenya ranked number one on gold medals at the 2015 World Championships in Athletics and has finished in the top five nations on the medal table at all but five editions.