General view of Pascual Guerrero Olympic Stadium in Cali, venue of the 2015 World U18 Championships (© Getty Images)
The World Athletics Council has selected Cali, Colombia, to host the 2022 World Athletics U20 Championships.
Cali, a city of 2.2 million situated 1018m above sea level, demonstrated its capacity to host a world-class athletics event by staging a successful edition of the World U18 Championships in 2015.
In all, nearly 1200 athletes from 143 countries competed in front of enthusiastic, energetic and vocal crowds at the Estadio Olímpico Pascual Guerrero. Several athletes who made their first major international appearances at those championships, including Armand Duplantis, Sydney McLaughlin, Niklas Kaul and Adbul Hakim Sani Brown, among others, have already become global stars in the senior ranks.
As Colombia’s Sports Capital, Cali also played host to the 2005 South American Championships and 2007 Central American and Caribbean Championships, and is preparing to host the multi-sport Junior Pan American Games in 2021.
World Athletics president Sebastian Coe congratulated Cali for its successful bid and said he was delighted that the global athletics community would return to South America in 2022.
“Our World U20 Championships are vibrant and youthful, so it’s entirely fitting that they should be held in a vibrant and youthful city," said Coe. "Cali now has substantial experience hosting major events and I’m sure will produce a championships with a typical Latin flavour. Athletics in South America has a proud history going back more than a century and has produced some of the great stars of our sport, including the 2018 World Female Athlete of the Year Caterine Ibarguen of Colombia. I would hope that hosting the World U20 Championships will inspire a generation of young Colombians and South Americans to follow in her footsteps.”
The president of the Colombian Athletics Federation, Ramiro Valera Marmojelo, added: “Cali is excited to have the opportunity to welcome the world’s best young athletes to Colombia in 2022 as the host of the World U20 Championships. We will put all our efforts into delivering a successful and memorable championships and building a great cultural, educational and sports legacy for the youth of the world."
The World Athletics U20 Championships Nairobi 2020, originally scheduled for July 2020, have been postponed until 17-22 August 2021, due to the coronavirus pandemic.