ATHLETICS KENYA GRATEFUL FOR THE 2025 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BID SUPPORT

ATHLETICS KENYA GRATEFUL FOR THE 2025 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BID SUPPORT

ATHLETICS KENYA GRATEFUL FOR THE 2025 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BID SUPPORT – As many may be now aware, World Athletics Council has named Tokyo as the host city for the 2025 World Championship Nairobi, and Silesia (Poland) and Singapore were the other cities bidding to host the biennial competition.

As Athletics Kenya, it undoubtedly feels like a missed opportunity for Kenya to become the first-ever African country to host such a grand championship. However, there are many positives to pick from this disappointment; chiefly, the strong partnerships that were forged between different stakeholders to make this dream a reality.

AK is grateful to the government, through President Uhuru Kenyatta and Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed, for their round-the-clock support to show the seriousness of Kenya’s bid. Our hearts are indebted to President Uhuru for his personal assurances to WA that Kenya was ready and eager to host an event of such magnitude.

Thank you to you, Dr. Amina, for walking with AK throughout this journey, always on hand to provide any support that AK needed at every stage of the bid.

The bid committee, as well as the personnel at AK, also deserves special mention for the many days and nights spent refining the bid documents to ensure they were in line with the requirements. The committee spent hours pondering over how to market Kenya as the perfect host for the World Championships and indeed, they came up with innovative ideas.

The fourth estate has been a long-time ally who has helped grow sports and sports persons in the country and this time it was no different. Our hats are tipped off to the media who used their traditional and social media platforms to publicize Kenya’s bid
and showcase our growing reputation as a sporting destination.

Internationally, AK salutes the various presidents of athletics federations in East and Central Africa who came out to support our bid. Their kind words regarding Kenya’s history as an athletics powerhouse were heartwarming and encouraging to say the
least.

Special mention goes to CAA President Malboum Kalkaba, Ethiopian long-distance running legend Haille Gebreselassie and Deratu Tulufor advocating for Kenya to be awarded the hosting rights. Despite having competed for so many years against Kenyan runners, it was a hallmark of Pan-Africanism for the two to voice their support for our bid. We salute them!

We are also grateful to WA for considering our bid. Through the able leadership of president Seb Coe, Kenya has hosted a number of WA major events, including the World Cross Country, World Athletics Continental Tour Gold (also known as Kip Keino Classic), World Under 20 Championships, World Under 18 Championships and World Cross Country Tour.

As we retreat to the drawing board to analyze our bid, AK believes that it is only a matter of when and not if Kenya will host the World Championship. As the body charged with managing athletics affairs in the country, our aim remains to play our part in making Kenya a sporting destination.

We congratulate Tokyo for winning the hosting rights and are convinced that they will stage a memorable event. Japan is like a second home to many Kenyan runners and we are looking forward to returning to the city where Team Kenya emerged as the
best African country at last year’s Olympics.

Back to the present, AK is happy to report that most of the members of Team Kenya have arrived safe and sound in Oregon, ready to fly the country’s flag high. We regret the visa woes that affected a few members of the team; we have picked lessons from this challenge and will be careful to avoid a repeat of the same in the future.

Meanwhile, we thank the government for its swift intervention to enable African 100m champion Ferdinand Omanyala to obtain his visa. We thank the American Embassy for its understanding and dedication to sorting out the debacle.

We remain optimistic – as Kenyans and as a federation – that our ladies and gentlemen will dominate the iconic Hayward Field with exceptional performances. They have been in residential training for close to three weeks and each one has refined their skills in readiness for battle. Spirits in the camp are high and everyone is
raring to go. As Kenyans, let us pray for and cheer them on to victory.

Go Team Kenya!

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