Kenya expects over 2,000 participants for U-18 athletics meet

Nairobi, Feb 28 (IANS) Kenya said on Tuesday that a total of 2,000 athletes in various disciplines representing over 150 countries and regions are expected in Nairobi in July for the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) Under-18 championships.

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta said besides the sporting fraternity drawn globally, thousands of other visitors are also expected to arrive in the country to have a first-hand experience of Kenya, a country recognised internationally as a powerhouse of long distance runners, reports Xinhua news agency.

“There is no doubt that we will receive many more hosting opportunities,” Margaret said when she launched the official website for the event.

During the previous nine editions of the IAAF championships held in Poland, Germany, Canada, Morocco, Czech Republic, Italy, France, Ukraine and Colombia, Kenya has always emerged between positions 1-3 beating many other world sporting giants.

At the inaugural 1999 IAAF world U18 championships in Poland, Kenya emerged the No. 1 after beating athletes from 150 other countries and regions.

Kenya also finished second in 2001 (Germany), 2005 (Morocco), 2007 (Czech Republic), 2011 (France), 2013 (Ukraine) and 2015 in Colombia.

Sporting enthusiasts are optimistic that no country can beat Kenya in athletics at home during the forthcoming championships.