Kenya hosts world-class show

World class! That was the unanimous verdict that was passed on the IAAF World Under 18 Championships that concluded yesterday at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.
From the displays on the track and field by the teenage athletes to the refurbished facilities at the venue, Kenya for years deemed as a hotbed of athletic greats has now joined the ranks of world class host.
For the nations that failed to send their youngsters for this last edition of the youth championships, they must have been watching on with envy as their would have been competitors enjoyed their week in the world limelight. Throngs of fans, many boosted by the declaration of free entry made by President Uhuru Kenyatta during the official opening of the championships on Wednesday, had the opportunity of witnessing first hand, the next generation of superstars.
Spanish teen beauty Maria Vicente was a popular figure among the fans not only for her dominance of the decathlon competition but also for her bewitching looks.
Gold medalist George Manangoi, Caren Chebet as well as Dominic Ndingiti and surprise 400m silver medallist Mary Moraa were outright favourites among their compatriots in the stands, who did Kenya proud in the track and field.
Moraa christened ‘Kisii Express’ has been tipped for greatness by many in the short races that the nation is starting to embrace to boost their dominance in the middle and long distance races. The championships coming at a time when the country is in the middle of a heated political season served to remind Kenyans that there is more that unites us than the opposite. Strangers embraced each time Kenyan athletes won a medal and cheered every athlete from the country regardless of his or her background. It’s no secret as Lord Sebastian Coe said on the opening day that Kenya has contributed immensely to the growth and development of athletics as a sport.
And with a successful youth event, mumurs among the Kenyan fans are that we should take on the World Championships.

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