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MOSCOW, June 30. /TASS/. Russian track and field athletes won’t participate in the IAAF World Youth Championships, also known as the IAAF World U18 Championships, this July in Nairobi, Kenya, due to security concerns, Vice President of the All-Russia Athletic Federation (ARAF) and chief coach of the Russia national team Yuri Borzakovsky told TASS.
On Thursday, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) approved the applications of nine Russians to compete as neutral athletes. Among these athletes are Aksana Gataullina (pole vault), Ekaterina Gorshenina (race walk), Salavat Ilkaev (race walk), Elvira Khasanova (race walk), Sergey Kozhevnikov (race walk), Polina Miller (sprints), Varvara Nasibulina (sprints), Danila Tundykov (middle distance) and Valentina Ulyanova (high jump).
"Of course, we are very glad that the IAAF has approved nine more our athletes as participants in the international competitions. However, only our young athletes have the right to go to Kenya, while coaches and the personnel don’t have the permission to go there. As the chief coach of the team, I called against the trip of our children to this tournament due to security grounds," Borzakovsky said.
Earlier, the teams of the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Switzerland, Japan, South Korea and other countries refused to take part in the event.
The championship in Kenya, due on July 12-16, will be the final such youth event in history. The IAAF earlier said it was inadvisable to continue holding world youth championships due to the lack of prospects.