Britain withdraws from 2017 World Under-18 Championships

Wednesday December 14 2016

World Under-18 Championships Local Organising Committee CEO Mwangi Muthee (left) chats with IAAF Council Member Sylvia Barlag at the Safaricom Stadium, Kasarani on October 26, 2016. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

World Under-18 Championships Local Organising Committee CEO Mwangi Muthee (left) chats with IAAF Council Member Sylvia Barlag at the Safaricom Stadium, Kasarani on October 26, 2016. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By AYUMBA AYODI
More by this Author

Britain has withdrawn from the 2017 World Under-18 Athletics Championships set for July 12-16, next year at Kasarani.

A statement on the British Athletics website indicated that the country will instead focus its energies on qualifying for the Commonwealth Youth Games due July 19-23, next year in Nassau, 2017.

The Nairobi championships will be the last World youth level competition after the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) decided to do away with the event.

Instead, the IAAF chose to work with Area Associations to find a more appropriate competition structure for assisting the career development of under 18 age group athletes.

“With events such as the newly launched European Youth Championships in Tbilisi in 2016, opportunities at area-level competition for the youth age group are being further developed and British athletes will now focus their energies on qualifying for the Commonwealth Youth Games,” said the statement.

The statement by Britain Athletics comes a fortnight after IAAF president Sebastian Coe and BA said they would send a team for the Nairobi event.

Coe and BA officials met Athletics Kenya President lieutenant general (retired) Jackson Tuwei on the sidelines of the IAAF Gala Award in Monaco on December 3 where they pledged their support for the Kenyan event.

Preparations are in top gear as Kenya readies to host close to 1,600 athletes from 160 countries for the youth competition.

Reacting to the statement on Wednesday, Tuwei said they will now have to approach the British government to find out the reason for the withdrawal.

“We may approach the UK through the government channels to show the importance of their team participation in the Nairobi event,” said Tuwei, who is also the Local Organising Committee chairman.