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Excitement as Nairobi awarded hosting rights for yet another world athletics event

Kenyans have shared their excitement on social media after Nairobi was awarded the hosting rights for 2020 IAAF World Athletics U20 Championships.

While making the announcement in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Thursday, the IAAF Council cited the hugely successful World U18 Championship that were held in Nairobi last year.

“By hosting an outstanding final edition of the IAAF World U18 Championship last year, Nairobi demonstrated its readiness to take the next step as a Championship host,” the IAAF said on its official website.

“Crowds of up to 60,000 attended the U18 Championships at Nairobi Moi International Sports Centre, creating an existing atmosphere for the young athletes who gathered from around the globe, and those attending the 2020 event can expect the same experience,” IAAF statement added.


President Uhuru Kenyatta led Kenyans in celebrating the big announcement terming it as a recognition of Kenya’s status as a powerhouse in athletics.

“I am delighted that has selected Nairobi to host the 2020 U20 . This is a vote of confidence in our ability to deliver on a massive global event and recognition of our status as a powerhouse in athletics. We set the bar with the U18s. ASANTE SANA!” President Kenyatta tweeted soon after the announcement was made.

Cabinet Secretary for Sports and Heritage, Rashid Echesa lauded the decision and assured IAAF that Kenya would host a successful event.

“On behalf of the Kenyan Government, I would like to say that we welcome the decision that has been reached by the IAAF top brass to settle on the Republic of Kenya to host the prestigious IAAF World U20 Championships in the year 2020,” he said.

In a series of tweets, Deputy President William Ruto also expressed his delight with the coming to Kenya of yet another major global athletics championship.

Similar sentiments were shared by Kenyans on Twitter.

This event will most likely be staged at the newly refurbished Moi International Sports Center, Kasarani which hosted the IAAF World Athletics U18 Championships last year.

Kenya is the second most successful country, after the USA in this biennial competition.