Kenya: World Athletics Boss Coe Happy With Nairobi's Wu20 Plans

In Tokyo

World Athletics President Seb Coe says he's happy with Nairobi's preparations to host next month's World Under-20 Championships at Kasarani.

Addressing a pre-Olympic Game press conference at the Games' flagship Tokyo National Stadium on Wednesday, Coe said the World Athletics Council has been updated on Nairobi's preparations with the progress well received.

Nairobi will host the junior championships from August 17 to 22, four years after the city hosted a most successful World Under-18 Championships.

Coe, himself an Olympic legend and multiple middle distance world record holder, said he looks forward to travelling to Nairobi for the championships.

"I'm really looking forward to going to Nairobi," he said.

"We had a terrific Under-18 Championships a few years ago and I'm sure my team at headquarters have enjoyed working with the organising committee there," Coe said, responding to a question from Nation Sport.

He added that he recently held talks with Kenya's Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed in Monaco.

"I was pleased to welcome the Sports Minister from Kenya to the office the other day when she had the opportunity to also meet our delivery teams.

"I'm confident that this will be a great championships.

The World Athletics head, who is also an International Olympic Committee member, said he had received satisfactory update on Kenya's Covid-19 protocols in place for next month's championships.

"My health and science team this morning reported literally to our Council how well those processes and protocols are working...

"Of course, we live in a challenging world but I know of course we are looking forward to being with you in a few weeks' time."

In Nairobi, the World Under-20 Championships' Chief Executive Officer Myke Rabar said everything is on course for the global competition with preparations "at 99 percent."

"We are very well prepared having held the Olympics and Under-20 trials at Kasarani. We can actually hold the championships tomorrow!" Rabar said.

"We are still consulting with World Athletics on the technical side but the stadium is well prepared for the event."

Competition track marked

Rabar added that branding at the stadium is already up and that synthetic surface manufacturers Mondo have already marked the competition track.

"The warm-up area is ready and it's really all systems ready now," Rabar added.

The World Athletics Under-20 Championships will be the biggest global sporting event after the current Olympic Games which draw to a close on August 8.

Coe was addressing journalists after a World Athletics Council meeting that came up with various decisions on future hosts of athletics events.

Coe said no decision had been reached regarding the 2025 World Championships with Nairobi having shown interest.

"It is up for debate at the next Council although its running through clear and discreet processes," Coe noted.

Most significantly, the World Athletics Council agreed on the host cities of three future World Athletics Series competitions, namely that the World Athletics Road Running Championships 2023 to be held in Riga, Latvia, the World Athletics Relays 2023 to be held in Guangzhou, China, and the World Athletics Race Walking Team Championships 2022 to be held in Muscat, Oman.

"Riga will host the inaugural World Athletics Road Running Championships, an event designed to celebrate road running for both elite and mass participation runners," World Athletics said in a statement after the Council meeting.

"It will incorporate the current World Half Marathon Championships and the new world five-kilometre championships, as well as mass races."

"The sixth World Relays will serve as a qualifying event for the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest and the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. The dates have yet to be finalised but the relays are traditionally held in May," the statement added.

"Also, the Russia Taskforce confirmed that the suspended Russian Federation (RusAF) was making satisfactory progress against the milestones and KPIs set out in the Reinstatement Plan and had paid the latest invoice of $431,848 for the reinstatement costs incurred by World Athletics in the quarter ending 31 March 2021."

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