Athletics’ world governing body, the IAAF, has picked Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, to host the under-20 World Athletics Championships in 2020.
The decision is a strong endorsement of the city as a venue for international events and comes following what the governing body called an “outstanding” Under-18 championships in 2017.
It also recognises that Kenya is a true athletics nation.
“The Under-20 championships showcase the future of our sport, so Kenya, with a young and enthusiastic population and such a rich history in athletics, is a perfect fit for us,” IAAF President Sebastian Coe said.
The Under-18 event attracted crowds of up to 60,000 people according to the IAAF.
Kenya will be hoping that this is a major step on the road to hosting the overall global showpiece in track and field, the World Championships, which have never been hosted in Africa.
Kenya’s success in attracting athletics events comes in contrast to its attempt to host the African Nations Championship (Chan) last year.
After numerous delays and problems with facilities, African football’s governing body, the Confederation of African Football (Caf), stripped the country of the hosting rights and the Chan tournament eventually went ahead in Morocco.