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Mr Aleck Skhosana, President of Athletics South Africa, During the 42nd IAAF World Cross Country Championships at the Kololo Independence Grounds in Kampala Uganda on March 26, 2017. Photo/Mohammed Amin/www.sports-pot.com

 Tuesday 28th March 2017

South Africa has vowed to storm Kenyan athletics scene during the 10th World Under 18 Championships in July. Mr Aleck Skhosana, President of Athletics South Africa, said they will bring a full team and their aim will be to dominate. “We will also come with our fans, the traditional dancers, who will overrun Maasai in Kenya,” Mr Skhosana said on the sidelines of the World Cross Country Championships in Kampala, Uganda, at the weekend.

“South Africa is a strong athletics nation. We won two gold and two silver in Rio Olympics. We did not do as well as Kenya did (six gold, six silver and one bronze), but are always very strong contenders. We have dominated African Championships in recent times. This will not be any different,” he said. When Nairobi hosted the African Championships in 2010, South Africa were third behind the hosts and Nigeria. They topped the medal table last year at home in Durban.

Nairobi will host the last edition of the World Under 18 Championships July 12-16 2017. South African athletics is not supported by the government. They have a strong youth program, which is funded by National Lottery. They have schools programs, which feeds the national teams. “We are excited to bring our competitors at the World Championships like these ones (in Kampala) and Nairobi in July. This is how best to promote athletics in the continent,” he said. Kampala became the fifth African nation to host the World Cross Country Championships after Rabat, Stellenbosch, Cape Town (1996), Marrakech (1998) and Mombasa (2007). Nairobi will be the second city after Marrakech in 2005 to host the World Under 18 Championships.