World Under-18 Championships in Athletics which came to a close on Sunday at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, has been declared a success by its Local Organising Committee and Athletics Kenya.
Kenya finished fourth overall after bagging 15 medals in total (four gold medals, seven silver and four bronze medals) behind South Africa, China and Cuba.
Speaking on Sunday evening as the curtain came down on the championship, Local Organising Committee chairman Jack Tuwei who is also Athletics Kenya president, said he was impressed with the standards shown by Kenyan teams and organisers.
“I’m happy with our team for emerging fourth overall though they had many medals than other countries. They have done us proud and that should be the way to go in future events,” said Tuwei.
He also said that the success of the event showed that Kenya can host one leg of the IAAF Diamond League Series and even the Senior World Championships in Athletics.
“Our ability to deliver this event to success has shown that we can even have a Diamond League series or World Championships and I want to thank the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) for believing in us,” added Tuwei.
During Sunday’s closing ceremony, fans were treated to song and dance as First lady Margaret Kenyatta declared the championship closed.
Kenya’s pioneer athletes who had been invited to the championships include Kipchoge Keino, Ben Jipcho, Paul Ruto and Nyandika Maiyoro.
Current athletes were also called upon to present medals to winners. Olympics and World champion in 800m David Rudisha, former 3,000m steeplechase champion Milka Chemos and 5,000m Olympics gold medallist Vivian Cheruiyot presented medals to athletes.
World U-18 committee boss Tuwei says his team will ride on last week’s success.