Kenya’s bid to host World Athletics Championships gets support

Kenya stands a good chance of hosting the 2025 World Athletics Championships, World Masters Athletics president Margit Jugmann said Wednesday.

She spoke Wednesday during the opening ceremony of the 13th Open Africa Masters Athletics Championships at Nyayo National Stadium. The event is for athletes who are 35 years old and above.

Jugmann, who comes from Germany, said that Kenya has proper facilities to host the event.

“We have the venues here and the people to do the work, but it’s upon the World Athletics to decide,” said Jugmann. “But if you want to deliver, there is a need to work together. It will be another good opportunity to return to Kenya.”

Kenya officially put in its bid to host the 2025 World Championship in October.

Nigeria, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, and South Africa have also shown interest to host the event that will be held for the first time on African soil.

Tokyo, too, placed its bid. The world championships is the largest athletics extravaganza after the Olympics.

Kenya has successfully hosted three world athletics events; the 2007 World Cross Country Championships, 2017 World Athletics Under-18 Championships and 2021 World Athletics Under-20 Championships.

The country that will win the bid for the 2025 event will have to invest between $70million (Sh7 billion) and $80 million (Sh8 billion).

Jugmann, who was accompanied by Africa Masters Athletics president Leonnie Etong from Cameroon, commended Kenya Masters Athletics for honouring their promise to host the continental meet.

“Kenya has produced world beaters from time immemorial, and that is why everyone was happy when the country put in their request in 2019 to stage the Open Africa Masters,” said Jugmann.

She said that it is a great honour for Kenya to be the first country to host an event in two years in Africa following the Covid-19 challenges.

The four-day Open Masters that started Wednesday has attracted eight countries including Kenya, who have 120 participants. Other countries are Algeria, Tunisia, Burundi, Cameroon, Mauritius, Germany and France.

Kenya finished second with 41 medals; 31 gold, eight silvers and one bronze during the last 2019 Championships held in Tunis. Hosts Tunisia won the overall title.

In some of the finals on the opening day, Emily Chepngétich won W35 10,000m in 36:17.0 as Jemutai Letting went for the W40 10,000m crown in 38:31.5.

Joyce Kirui won W45 10,000m in 40:02.7, Sheila Mbaku claimed W50 10,000m in 46:21.3 with Caroline Nduta winning W60 10,000m in 49:04.9.

David Kirui flew away with 10,000m victory in M35 in 32:38.5 while Samuel Ndereba won M40 over the same distance in 32:28.3.

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