The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has awarded Kenya the rights to host the 2020 IAAF World Athletics U20 Championships.

Nairobi’s candidacy was formally endorsed by the IAAF Council in Buenos Aires on Thursday.

“The U20 Championships showcases 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.

Crowds of up to 60,000 attended the U18 Championships at Nairobi’s Moi International Sports Centre, creating an exciting atmosphere for the young athletes who had gathered from around the globe

During a recent visit to the IAAF headquarters in Monaco, the Principal Secretary for Sports in Kenya, Ambassador Kirimi Kaberia, noted that 42 percent of Kenya’s population was under 15 (only 17 percent over 50) and sport was a vital component in the country’s development.

Ideal host

"Athletics is a very important part of our life. Everyone loves athletics in Kenya. You saw it during the world under 18 and you will see it again in 2020," he said.

IAAF president Sebastian Coe noted the Kenyan Government’s strong support for the Nairobi bid and said it would be an ideal host for the championships.

"We hope that awarding these championships will further encourage the development of athletics in Kenya and all over Africa, which is such a vibrant part of our international federation."

Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Sports and Heritage, the Honourable Rashid Echesa said:

"It is indeed a great honour to be considered and selected to host the event. On behalf of Kenyan Government, I assure you that we will ensure that we put our best foot forward and put the necessary plans, systems and structures in place to ensure that the event runs smoothly and successfully. We welcome the world to Kenya."

The IAAF World U20 Championships Nairobi 2020 have been scheduled for July 7-12, 2020.