- Alem said that Africa has the capability and resources to host major events that can be an envy to the rest of the world
- Alem said he is happy that Kenya, Ethiopia and other African countries have strongly protested to World Athletics saying the changes will kill athletics
- Mandago said Africa countries should take Diamond League's move as a blessing by taking the initiative to host a meeting featuring events that have been left out
There is need for the regional countries and Africa to come up with its own international meetings that will cater for the need of athletes, Ethiopian ambassador to Kenya Meles Alem Tikea has said.
Alem said that Africa has the capability and resources to host major events that can be an envy to the rest of the world and challenged Athletics Kenya, Athletics Ethiopia and the Confederation of Africa Athletics to come out of their comfort zone.
These sentiments received a strong backing from Uasin Gishu County Governor Jackson Mandago and his Nandi counterpart Stephen Arap Sang, who called on Kenya and Ethiopia to engage in exchange programs for athletes.
Alem, Mandago and Sang were speaking during the official opening of the Athletics Kenya Athletes’ Conference at Sirikwa Hotel on Friday. The four-day conference ends on Saturday.
The sentiments come after World Athletics and Diamond League scrapped several races including 10,000m, 5,000m, 3,000m steeplechase and 200m from real time coverage during the 2020 season.
Alem, who represented EA president Deratu Tule and legendary athlete Haile Gebrselassie, described Kenya and Ethiopia as the beauty of international athletics. “I wonder how the world would contemplate not to have marathon, 10,000m, 5,000m and steeplechase,” said Alem. “Besides doping, scrapping of these events is the biggest threat to Kenya and Ethiopia’s heritage in athletics.”