New Zealand withdraws from World U20 Championships to be held in Nairobi
Athletics New Zealand has withdrawn from the 2021 World Athletics U20 Championships to be staged in Nairobi.
In a statement dated April 22, Athletics Zealand said that it will not be sending athletes to the global showpiece adding that the decision ‘has not been reached lightly’ – recognising the impact that it will have on our young athletes’ opportunities to compete internationally – and comes after a detailed review and consideration of all relevant factors by Athletics NZ’s board and senior management team.
They added that the decision had been informed by the current Covid-19 situation in Nairobi, following a third wave of the virus which had put a heavy strain on hospitals and ICU facilities in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi.
“There is a heightened risk of terrorism throughout Kenya at present, including an ongoing threat based on credible information indicating that Westerners may be targeted by extremists in the Nairobi area. The NZ Consulate in Kenya has advised Athletics NZ against hiring a security escort for our team as, according to their expertise, the presence of security details can make a group stand out and therefore become a potential target.”
Athletics New Zealand added that it will directly contact athletes who had previously submitted an Application for Selection Form for the competition.
“When taking into consideration the current situation in Nairobi, including security risks, the open ended current Covid-19 lockdown and high and increasing case numbers, as well as NZ Government advice not to travel to Kenya, Athletics NZ has been advised by its insurance brokers that we cannot be guaranteed insurance cover for the team, management or coaches travelling to this event.”
The global sporting event is scheduled for August 7-22 2021 at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.
Courtesy – athletics.org.nz