IAAF Will No Longer Contest World U18 Youth Championships

The IAAF will no longer hold a world championship for U-18 athletes, as announced by IAAF president Seb Coe at a press conference in Rio yesterday.

The last edition of the event will be held in Nairobi, Kenya next July 12-17, 2017. This will be the tenth annual and final world championships for youth athletes. The U20 championships will continue.

The first U18 event was held in Bydgoszcz, Poland --the site of this year's U20 Championships-- in 1999 and held again every two years.

Last year's championship in Cali, Colombia served as the coming-out party for several of the world's most promising youth athletes, including Sydney McLaughlin and Candace Hill. McLaughlin, who won gold in the 400m hurdles in Cali, was a media darling this summer as she became the youngest Team USA track and field Olympian since 1972.

Hill was the second athlete in World Youth event history to sweep the 100m and 200m; later that year, the then-16-year-old would become the youngest American track and field athlete to sign a professional contract when she agreed to a 10-year ASICS sponsorship.

Hill's 2016 season culminated with two gold medals in the 100m and 4x100m relay at the IAAF World U20 Championships. She did not advance to the finals in the 100m or 200m at the U.S. Olympic Trials.