•Tuwei said it is unfortunate that some African countries sidestep continental competitions
•Tuwei has also urged all countries on the continent to support Kenya's bid for the 2025 World Championship
•He said a win for Kenya is a win for Africa
Athletics Kenya president Jack Tuwei has urged African nations to support mega sports events on the continent by participating in them.
Tuwei said it is unfortunate that some African countries sidestep continental competitions by not sending their athletes to compete and raise the standard of the sport.
"The most unfortunate thing is that not all of the member associations send their teams to compete at these continental events. For example, during the World Under-20 Championships in Nairobi last year, only 28 out of 54 member associations sent their teams," Tuwei said.
However, the president is confident that the trend will change at the Senior African Athletics Championships in Reduit, Mauritius in June.
The continental showpiece was twice shelved and shifted from Algeria to Nigeria, owing to the coronavirus pandemic that has been ravaging the world for the past two years.
"I am looking forward to seeing all of the African nations sending their teams to Mauritius. We need to embrace such events because they belong to us and will build our capacity...not just for the athletes but for anyone involved," Tuwei, also the senior vice-chair of the Confederation of African Athletics said.
Kenya is bidding to become the first African country to host the World Championship, specifically in 2025, and Tuwei has urged all on the continent to support them.
"It would be the first time that Africa is hosting the apex of athletics. This is an event for Africa and therefore we encourage you to embrace this bid. We have had the World Championship in all the other continents, including Oceania and the Americas. It is our time," he said.
Tuwei added: "After the Kip Keino Classic, we also want to lobby to be upgraded to the Diamond League. We only have one Diamond League race in Rabat, Morocco, and believe Africa deserves another one. We have built our capacity in hosting such big events starting from the World Cross Country, World Under 18, and the World Under 20 Championship."
He was speaking at Hotel La Mada on Thursday while opening a two-day media training workshop by World Athletics.
Tuwei applauded the sports scribes in attendance for their passion for disseminating stories on athletics.
"You are the heroes and heroines and we thank you for always working behind the scenes to bring these wonderful stories to light," he said.