Kenya is to launch a bid to host the IAAF World Championships in Athletics in 2023 after successfully staging two other global 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.
He was speaking at a welcome reception for Kenyan athletes who finished second overall at the just-concluded London 2017, beaten only by the United States with five gold, two silver and four bronze.
“Kenya became the first African nation to win the World Championships 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.”
Kalkaba 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.
Kenya also hosted the acclaimed 2007 IAAF World Cross Country Championships in the coastal city of Mombasa before the Nairobi 2017 World U-18 Championships were hailed as the best ever, attracting record crowds.
(Additional reports from AFP)