NAIROBI: Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) has thrown its weight behind Athletics Kenya's bid to host the 2025 World Athletics Championships.
“We are yet to discuss the issue but I do not think we can have a problem with backing the bid. Hosting the championships in Africa will be a huge milestone not only for Kenya but the entire continent,” he said.
Athletics Kenya president, Jackson Tuwei said BAA is one of the federations on the continent that has shown support for bringing the athletics global flagship event to Africa.
He told Mmegi Sport on the sidelines of the World Athletics Media Development Programme held in Kenya recently that the campaign to host the competition was going well.
“We have done everything that is important. In 2007 we hosted the World Cross Country Championships and that gave us interesting lessons and ideas on how to go about hosting a World event. In 2010, we hosted the Africa Senior Championships here in Nairobi. That also gave us confidence that it can be done,” he said.
Tuwei said in 2017 Kenya hosted the World Under-18 and they have been building capacity all along. He explained that building capacity is important to build confidence and support not only with the government but also with the citizens of the country.
“Last year we hosted the World Under-20 Championships and the next one is the World Championships and Africa has never hosted them. We think now that after doing all that we have done within the period that I have talked about and building confidence and capacity, we have strength and resources. We have the infrastructure to host the World Championships,” he said.
Tuwei said it was time for Africa to be united to make the bid a success. He said the rest of the continent has been supportive of Kenya hosting the championships including the Confederation of African Athletics.
“We have support even from athletes from other countries. Not just by saying but by writing support letters. Botswana Athletics Association has also pledged support,” he said.
The World Championships were started in 1976 in response to the International Olympic Committee dropping the men's 50km walk from the Olympic programme for the 1976 Montreal Olympics, despite its constant presence at the games since 1932. The upcoming event is slated for Oregon in July.