Following the recent held World U18 IAAF champions in Kenya; Kasarani stadium, Kenyan athletes proved that truly Kenya is the home of champions.The Kenyan IAAF team has reminded the world of the country’s “defiant spirit of hard work, dedication and resilience.” This is after emerging fourth out of the 131 countries that took part in the event.
Kenyans turned up in large numbers to support their own athletes and the event in general. The tournament reminded Kenyans they are one irrespective of differences, affiliations and preferences.
In attendance was also the head of state, who was really impressed by the performance of Kenyans U18 athletes, “they shone a light on us as a preferred destination, pulling in investment and earning international confidence in our country’s security.”
Kenya bagged four gold, seven silver and four bronze medals at the IAAF World U18 Championships that took place at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi.
Gold medalists were George Manangoi (1,500m), Caren Chebet (2,000m), Jackline Wambui (800m) and Leonard Bett (2,000m steeplechase).
Silver medalists were Edward Zakayo (3,000m) Cleophas Kandie Meyan (2,000m Steeplechase) Moitalel Mpoke (400m hurdles), Mary Moraa (400m), Lydia Jeruto (800m), Emmaculate Chepkirui (3,000m) and Mercy Chepkurui (2,000m steeplechase).
Japhet Toroitich (800m), Stanley Mburu (3,000m), Dominic Ndigiti (10,000m race walk) and Edina Jebitok (1,500 Meters) clichéd bronze medals.
The tournament was very stiff, with South Africa wining 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.
This was a remarkable performance by the Kenyan team, having being known as all time athletics champion. The tournament was psyched by the adult team and former athletes who were present during the tournament including; David Rudisha, Vivian Cheruiyot, Kipchoge Keino and other World athletes. Present was also the Kenyan first Lady Margaret Kenyatta who was a splendid patron of the championships; she graced the last day of the competition.
A total of 131 countries participated in the five day event which recorded the highest turn out in a youth and junior championship.