I’m excited over the government’s recent announcement that the country will bid to host the 2023 IAAF World Athletic Championships. A week ago, Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario announced that they intend to put in a bid for the 2023 global show.
“We are more than capable of hosting a global event and we are looking to bid the World Championships in 2023,” Wario was quoted as saying.
This was strengthened by the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) President Sebastian Coe, who said one of his goals is to ensure an African country hosts the World Championships in his presidency.
Wario confirmed they had a meeting on the sidelines of the World Championships with the IAAF boss and world athletics body were impressed with the organisation of the recently concluded World Under-18 Championships in Nairobi.
Qatar will host the next World Championship in 2019 and Eugene, Oregon, will stage the 2021 show.
Even more encouraging is the fact the that Wario has promised to aggressively build three new stadiums in Nairobi, Mombasa and Eldoret.
However, this may not be very important for the World Championships because all we need is one huge and well equipped stadium, accommodation facilities around the stadium, proper road network and government’s commitment.
To be honest, the World Championships are not only huge for us, but also means a lot Kenyans having dominated the mid and long distance races in previous championships.
However, no one will give you that just because you have the right facilities in place or you have a history in athletics. You really have to convince the world that Kenya is the place to be in 2023. So how do you do that?
One key issue to is build up on the success of the World Under-18 Championships and this means maintaining the facilities used.
It is sad that Sport Kenya is already planning to dismantle some of the facilities that were used, like the Media Tribune.
Why should we do this when the Africa Nations Cup football tournament is just around the corner and there is talk of hosting the World Junior Championships in 2020?
As a country, need to come together in a forum and brainstorm on how these facilities can be maintained for future events. It’s greedy to dismantle what we have now and raise another huge budget close to the 2023 championships.
I am sure with the right management at Kasarani, we can either maintain or improve on the facilities used for the World Under-18 Championships that was a huge success. This time, I hope we will have everything in place in good time.
In 1993, Caf awarded Kenya the right to host the 1996 Africa Nations Cup.