Kenya bid to bring World Championships to Africa for first time

Kenya's Elijah Manangoi celebrates his 1500m world title at London 2017 with his compatriots Timothy Cheruiyot (the silver medallist) and outgoing triple champion Asbel Kiprop. AFP PHOTO / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEVKIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images

On the back of another successful IAAF World Championships for their athletes, the Kenyan government are talking up a bid to host the event in 2023.

Were Kenya to successfully bid for athletics' flagship event -- considering other sports form part of the Olympic Games -- then they would become the first African nation to do. The split currently is Europe 11, Asia four and North America only one after Edmonton 2001.

The 2019 and 2021 hosts have already been chosen, with the championships heading to Doha in Qatar next before the US city of Eugene -- both of which have hosted IAAF Diamond League events in 2017.

According to a report by AFP, Kenyan sports minister Hassan Wario says that the country have shown its capability to become Africa's first hosts, not least when it brought together athletes from 130 countries to compete in the IAAF World Under-18 Championships in Nairobi in July.

"We have shown that we are capable to host smaller events, and it has now reached a time when we should host big competitions," said Wario at a welcome reception for Kenyan athletes.

On the track Kenyan athletes have long since shown that they're up there with the best around the world, further enhancing their claims to be chosen as a hosts Wario believes.

"Kenya became the first African nation to win the world championship in Beijing in 2015 [and finished second behind the USA at the just-concluded world championships in London], it is only fitting that we should be the first country to bring the championships to Africa," Wario said.

A lack of world class facilities is often the criticism against African (or South American for that matter) countries hosting major world sporting events, but Wario says Kenya already have their improvement plan in motion.

"We have a plan to build three big stadiums in Nairobi, Mombasa and Eldoret and seven additional new ones in other parts of the country."

Wario echoed the recent call by Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) president Hamad Kalkaba Malboum for Africa to be awarded the World Championships by 2025.

Malboum said six African countries, including Kenya, are capable of hosting the event.