NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- Kenyan
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday evening opened the IAAF U-18 World
Championships in Nairobi with an assurance to citizens and all visiting athletes
that the East African nation is very secure.
“I wish to
assure you that Kenya is a secure and peaceful country and continues to embrace
democratic ideals as we progress in building our nation,” said Kenyatta.
tight at the venue as all vehicles heading to the venue of the event must
undergo security checking more than 100 meters away from the stadium and police
officers are under instructions to be courteous albeit maintaining a hawk eye on
assured the international sporting fraternity of Kenya’ s commitment to ethical,
clean and fair sports competition.
administration fully supports the fight against unfair sporting practices as
part of developing this industry,” the president said as he announced free entry
to the games for the remainder of the period.
the importance of sports in people’s lives.
our bodies strong, strengthens collaboration, builds discipline and also plays
an important role in international relations,” Kenyatta said.
sports provides people with a unique opportunity to stand as one irrespective of
geography, language and creed.
described the championships as a special occasion for the people, saying sports
occupies a unique place in the Kenyan society, a country recognized globally for
producing some of the greatest athletics heroes.
provides a unique platform to develop new talent and future champions,” Kenyatta
produced impressive performance at the 2016 Rio Olympics where they bagged six
gold medals and a total of 13 medals to finish second in athletics behind the
2015 U-18 worlds in Cali, Colombia, young Kenyans also hauled 13 medals again in
second position after the United States.
examples of our senior and junior athletics teams’ tradition of exemplary
performance in elite global competitions over the years,” the president said.
committed to developing sports as a fully-fledged industry as part of our
broader strategy for growing our economy and creating jobs for our youth,” he
U-18 world championships brought together over 2,000 athletes and coaches from
131 countries and regions while Britain, New Zealand, Australia, Canada,
Switzerland and defending champions United States announced their withdrawals
from the games.
Kenya tightens security ahead of global
NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- The
Kenyan government has thrown a security cordon at the venue and environs of the
2018 World Under-18 Athletics Championships that get underway on Wednesday in
facilities that will play host to the event that will run from July 12 to 16,
have been secured in one of the biggest security undertakings to be seen in the
country in recent times.
of armed law keepers from all security formations are leaving nothing to chance
in order to secure the games that saw some teams pull out owing to purported
“We have left
nothing to chance to host secure games. Those countries that pulled out will rue
the day they made their decision not to attend the event,” the CEO of the local
organizing committee, Mwangi Muthee, remarked.
Zealand, Australia, Canada, Switzerland and defending champions United States
have already announced their withdrawals from the games.
heading to the venue of the event must undergo security checking more than 100
meters away from the stadium and police officers are under instructions to be
courteous albeit maintaining a hawk eye on people.
A police post
has been set up at the venue to deter any uncertainty that might visit the
of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Sebastian Coe
told reporters on Tuesday that the association decided to make the event the
last edition in order to shift focus to regional and continental competitions in
order to give impetus to develop the sport in areas that are lagging behind.
“I wish young
athletes competing this week, many of who will be travelling abroad for the
first time in their lives, an enjoyable experience and a memorable time,” Coe
athletes who passed through the ranks of the Under 18 championships are world
record holders Usain Bolt (100m and 200m) and David Rudisha (800m).
Teams laud good organization in Nairobi for
World Youth Championships
NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- Kenya
has not spared any efforts to make visiting teams comfortable as Nairobi hosts
the final edition of the World Under-18 Championships starting July 12-16.
organisers have secured university hostels at Kenyatta University to serve as
the Athletes Village and the visiting teams have so far given thumbs up sign for
the service rendered.
manager Tarik Kessti said the youth event is not taken seriously being the
elementary championships by the IAAF.
lauded Kenya for taking initiative to spruce up hostels of a University, which
will be used even after the championships.
“This idea of
coming up with an athletes’ village in the university is very good. The idea is
it will be used even after the one week of the championships,” he said.
head coach, Rudolph Ferguson, the hospitality at the hostel are great and beyond
restaurant is excellent, the service is good and transport has been well
coordinated. The stadium is not far away and we have all we need to have a good
championship,” said Ferguson.
attended many championships with the Bahamas team but I have not come across one
where each athlete has his own room.”
History in the making as Nairobi hosts World
NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- The
World Under-18 Championships starts in Nairobi on Wednesday, three decades since
Kenya hosted something of similar caliber, the 1987 All Africa Games.
has not been easy for the country, which has pumped in almost 250 million U.S.
dollars for the week-long championships that will attract over 130 countries and
regions bringing along 2,000 athletes.
This is also
the second time that the IAAF World Youth Championships will be hosted in Africa
after Morocco hosted it in 2005.
the 1987 All Africa Games, Mombasa (Kenya) also played host to the 2007 World
Cross Country Championships, which brought together a record 40,000 fans with
over 200 athletes.
Organising Committee CEO Mwangi Muthee said preparations of the event are
complete and hoped the country will reclaim the overall title.
“We have done
a good job, but that will be confirmed after the event. Everything is in order
and now we have to sit and watch the action,” he said.
event will miss out top athletes from U.S., Britain, Japan, Canada, New Zealand,
Australia, and Switzerland who have all confirmed they will give the event a bye
citing security concern and preference for the Youth Commonwealth Games to be
staged in Nassau, Bahamas later this month.
the medals table in 1999 in Poland and 2009 in Italy and will be aiming to do so
once again as the country hosts its first global track and field event.
This will be
last edition of the World U18 Championships after the IAAF Council decided to
discontinue the youth championships to focus towards driving regional and
looking forward to bring fame to her country will be Asia long Jump champion
Gong Luying. The 17-year-old girl from China’s Zhejiang province is aiming for
gold in Nairobi.
“I try to
gain more experience and learn from others. Hopefully I can bring honour to my
country in international competitions,” Gong said.
while the world will be focused on the performances on the field, it is the host
nation that will seek to reinvigorate its breeding system for budding athletes
as it looks on how to utilize the equipment that will be left behind.
“What we want
first to be remembered is the quality of competition,” said IAAF CEO Olivier
“We want to
make sure we leave behind a lasting legacy for athletics, for the country of
Kenya and for the whole region. To have a vibrant, modern equipped stadium that
can be reused in future championships is quite critical.”