Kenya finishes 4th as curtain falls on IAAF U-18

Kenya finished fourth as the curtain came down on the last IAAF World Under 18 athletics championships at Kasarani in Nairobi on Sunday.

Kenya bagged a total of 15 medals; four gold, seven silver and four bronze.

Kenya’s gold medalists were George Manangoi (1, 500m), Caren Chebet (2, 000m), Jackline Wambui (800m) and Leonard Bett (2, 000m steeplechase).

The silver medalists were Edward Zakayo (3000M) Cleophas Kandie Meyan (2000M Steeplechase) Moitalel Mpoke (400m hurdles), Mary Moraa (400 M), Lydia Jeruto (800 M), Emmaculate Chepkirui (3, 000 M), Mercy Chepkurui (2000 Me Steeplechase).

Japhet Toroitich (800 M), Stanley Mburu Waithaka (3, 000 M), Dominic Ndigiti (10,000 Metres Race Walk) and Edina Jebitok (1500 Metres) cliched bronze medals.

Read: Kenya off to a flying start at IAAF competition in Kasarani

South Africa won the overall title with five gold, three silver and three bronze medals followed in second place by China with five gold, two silver and four bronze medals.

Cuba came third with five gold, two silver and one bronze medal.

The absence of the US and Britain from the event appeared to have worked in favour of South Africa which won most sprints which are historically dominated by the two countries.

Kenya’s quartet of Mary Moraa, David Sanayek, Kelvin Sawe and Gloria Mulei finished a disappointing fourth in the mixed relay which was won by Brazil with Jamaica finishing second and South Africa third.

In boys 2000m boys’ steeplechase, Leonard Bett and Cleophas Meyan continued Kenya’s dominance in the race winning gold and silver respectively.

Bett led Kenya to a 1-2 finish in a thrilling final in the race clocking 5:32.52 with Meyan clinching silver in a personal best time of 5:33:07.

Ethiopia’s Alemu Diriba won bronze after finishing in 5:42.10.

“The race went as planned and the strategy to kick in the last 200m worked for us. The fans were awesome, they pushed us to continue with our dominance in the event,” Bett said.

Read: Kenya performs poorly in hurdles, field events at U-18 IAAF Kasarani meet

First lady Margaret Kenyatta graced the last day of the event.

Kenya’s head coach Kariuki Gikonyo expressed his satisfaction with the performance of the team despite the fourth place finish.

“We did well. This is a very young team which should be retained ahead of the world under 20 next year because these are the same athletes we shall face,” he said.

He added:
“I’m impressed by the performance in jumps and field events. Most athletes came
here without meeting qualifying time and well.

“If we continue investing in
them, they will perform well in future events.”

He also thanked Kenyans for coming out in large numbers to cheer the athletes.

“The attendance was beautiful and cheering coordinated,” Gikonyo said.

The CEO of the Local Organising Committee Mwangi Muthee termed the event as a success.

“It was not easy but we are happy it has ended successfully. We have left a legacy.”

Muthee said Kenya is ready and can host bigger events including the World Athletics Championships.

“Bring it on. We can successfully host it,” he said.

A total of 131 countries participated in the five day event which recorded the highest turn out in a youth and junior championship.

Read also: IAAF president hails Kenya for successful World U-18 championships

RankGSBTOTAL

1. South Africa 5 3 3 11

2. China 5 2 4 11

3. Cuba 5 2 1 8

4. Kenya 4 7 4 15

5. Ethiopia 4 3 5 12

6. Germany 3 5 5 13

7. Jamaica 3 2 3 8

8. France 2 1 4 7

9. Ukraine 2 1 2 5

10. Turkey 1 1 1 3

11. Spain 1 1 0 2

11. Ecuador 1 1 0 2

13 Brazil 1 0 1 2

14. Czech Republic 1 0 0 1

14. Chile 1 0 0 1

16. Poland 0 2 0 2

17. Authorised Neutral Athlete 0 1 1 2

17. Belarus 0 1 1 2

19. Chinese Taipei 0 1 0 1

19. Latvia0 1 0 1

19. India 0 1 0 1

19. Cyprus 0 1 0 1

19. Bulgaria 0 1 0 1

19. Guyana 0 1 0 1

25 Romania 0 0 1 1

25. Turks And Caicos Islands 0 0 1 1

25. Colombia 0 0 1 1

25. Lithuania 0 0 1 1

Sony optimistic

PS El Maawy rescued moments after hijacking by Shabaab