Air quality will be monitored at the Diamniadio Stadium during the Youth Olympics ©Getty Images

Air quality at the Dakar 2026 Youth Olympic Games is to be tracked with the installation of a sensor at the Diamniadio Stadium in Senegal, the main venue for the competition.

It follows meetings between Athletics Kenya, the Senegalese Athletics Federation (SAF) and the African Athletics Confederation, who came together as part of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN).

Part of Athletics Kenya's delegation included its President Jackson Tuwei, Barcelona 1992 Olympic men's 800 metres gold medallist William Tanui, and sustainability and communications officer Maxwell Nyamu.

The device was installed the day before the session started, and a symbolic tree-planting ceremony was held too, attended by dignitaries and schoolchildren.

"A clean environment is important around stadiums," said SAF President Sara Oualy.

"We will work to inspire athletes by connecting them with African athletes who are leading, like William Tanui. 

"We are happy and will work for fruitful collaboration between Senegal Athletics and Athletics Kenya."

The Diamniadio Stadium is home to the national football team too ©Getty Images
The Diamniadio Stadium is home to the national football team too ©Getty Images

Africa records approximately one million premature deaths a year due to air pollution.

"It is very important to develop this partnership between Athletics Kenya and Senegal Athletics because Senegal is preparing for a very important event - the Youth Olympics in 2026," added Cheikh Fofana, deputy director of environment in the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development of the Government of Senegal.

Some objectives agreed at the AMCEN Conference include presenting and sharing the status of air quality and climate change in Senegal and the implications for sports.

It also required sports organisations to highlight the actions they are taking for climate action and asks athletes to use their platform to speak about the issues.

The Dakar 2026 Youth Olympics were moved back four years by the International Olympic Committee to give organisers more time to prepare for the Games following logistical issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.