New Zealand have announced their withdrawal from the upcoming 2021 World Athletics U20 Championships.
The tournament is scheduled to take place in Kenya in July.
Athletics New Zealand, the national governing body for athletics in New Zealand communicated that their athletes will not participate in the competition.
One of the reasons was the pandemic situation in the East African nation with the capital city, Nairobi recording one of the highest cases numbers in the country.
Nairobi is one of the major towns that has been hit by the third wave of the pandemic and risks the health and lives of many.
Athletics New Zealand also cited their fear for a possible terror attack in the metropolitan city.
“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.”
The governing body added that “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.”