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S. Korea to skip world youth athletics championships for safety reasons

All News 08:45 June 21, 2017

SEOUL, June 21 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will not participate in an international youth athletics competition in Kenya next month due to safety reasons, the country's track and field governing body said Wednesday.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World U-18 Championships will be staged from July 12-16 in Nairobi, but the Korean Association of Athletics Federations (KAAF) said it will not send its track and field prospects to the Kenyan capital.

"We can't travel to the championships risking our safety," a KAAF official said. "We will not compete at the event."

South Korea joins a few other countries that have also decided to pull out of the event because of security concerns in Kenya, which received a "critical" crime and terrorism rating by the United States Department of State. The U.S., Japan, New Zealand and Canada will also not participate in the event.

Even Britain, the home country of the IAAF President Sebastian Coe, withdrew from the biennial competition.

China, however, will send 51 athletes to the African nation, and will be joined by Ethiopia and Poland.


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