First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has expressed her satisfaction with the preparations of the IAAF World U18 Championships adding that Kenya is all set to raise the bar in the Championship.
The first Lady who is also the World U18 championships patron further urged the Local Organizing Committee to ensure they deliver a world class event that will reflect the best of the country.
A total of 131 countries will be represented in the Championships that starts in Nairobi on July 12 to run until July14, with some of the teams expected to arrive this week to acclimatize ahead of the event that will be opened by President Uhuru Kenyatta. Poland will be the first country to check in tomorrow(Wednesday).Other countries are expected to check on Saturday ahead of the global event.
Earlier in the day, the First Lady who is the patron of event, inspected the facilities both at Kenyatta University and Kasarani main stadium where she was impressed with the work. The University will accommodate all the visiting teams in a special Games Village.
“I am truly overwhelmed with the work done here. This place will make Kenya proud,” said the First lady after an extensive inspection of accommodation, dining, kitchen and recreational facilities at the Games Village.
At Kenyatta University, the First Lady witnessed the hand-over of the Games Village from the University’s Vice Chancellor Prof. Paul Wainana to officials of the IAAF World U18 Local Organizing Committee (LOC) which was represented by its chairman Lt-General (rtd) Jackson Tuwei and Chief Executive Officer Mwangi Muthee.
The First Lady then made a second site visit at the Kasarani Stadium where infrastructural works including the laying of new tartan tracks are 98 per cent complete according to Sports, Culture and Arts Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario who accompanied the First Lady at both sites.
“I am satisfied that actualization of the logistical and operational plans for the championships are well on course,” said the First Lady with optimism that the country will stage a world class event that reflects the very best of Kenya.
A total of 1,300 athletes will be fighting for the 37 competitions on offer where a strong 78-member Team Kenya will be out to defend its past record as the kings of long distance races.
The first lady was flanked by Sports Minister Dr.Hassan Wario,Athletics Kenya (AK) President Ltd.Jackson Tuwei, Sports Kenya ,AK and several sports dignitaries in her tour.
Of the 215 member countries that constitute the IAAF, six among them overall defending champions United States of America, Great Britain, Japan, New Zealand, Australia and Canada withdrew citing
At the Kasarani Stadium, where she met, mingled and chatted with some participating athletes of Team Kenya, the First Lady exuded confidence that Kenya was ready to receive the various teams and hold a
“This will be second biggest sporting event that Kenya is hosting since the 1987 All Africa Games,” she said adding that the championships provide an opportunity to appreciate the diverse talents among the youth.
“For me, the upcoming IAAF World Under 18 Championships offer a fantastic opportunity for us to recognize the diverse talents and abilities of youth across the world. Every competing athlete will
serve as an inspiration to young people globally,” she added.
She expressed her pride with the Kenyan Athletes adding they have had the best mentorship under past champions in the names of such heroes as Catherine Ndereba, Pamela Jelimo, Noah Ngeny, John Ngugi and Julius Kariuki among others.