International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) confirmed it had received a letter of intent from Nairobi alongside Buenos Aires and Greensboro, reports Xinhua.
“Letters of intent from candidate cities interested in hosting a number of competitions of the IAAF World Athletics Series (WAS) 2017-19 have been received by the IAAF. This emphasises once more the universal reach and popularity of the sport of athletics,” said IAAF president Lamine Diack Wednesday during the on-going IAAF council meeting in Senegal.
“The council is delighted to note that national member federations from five of the six continental areas have confirmed themselves as candidates across the four IAAF WAS events involved.”
IAAF will decide the host cities in its next meeting in Monaco in November. Prior to that the potential hosts will need to present detailed bid dossiers and will also receive feedback from an IAAF evaluation team to help them deliver the best possible case.
“At the moment we are not keen to talk about what it will cost to bring the competition to Kenya. The most important thing is that Kenya is ready to bid for this prestigious championship,” said Athletics Kenya chairman Isaiah Kiplagat.
“We are in the process of putting together a bid paper. It is after our request is accepted that we will talk about what is required.”
IAAF had announced March 7 the opening of a new bid processes for several events including the 2017 IAAF World Youth Championships, eligible for athletes aged 16 and 17.
“I have discussed with president Uhuru Kenyatta about us hosting the event and he is very positive around it,” added Kiplagat.
The small matter of altitude, with Nairobi sitting about 5,500 metres above sea level, remains a concern. The same applies for Buenos Aires.
With the hosts of the 2015 and 2017 World Championships already decided, the IAAF invited candidates for the 17th edition of the event in 2019. The candidates for the 2019 Worlds are Doha, Barcelona and Eugene. The World Championships was first staged in 1983 and it’s the jewel of the IAAF WAS.
After the Olympics and FIFA World Cup, the IAAF World Championships is the third largest sporting event in the world based upon number of participating teams, athletes and global TV audience, which is six billion across over 200 territories.