Down but not out: Kenyans acquire experience in field events as Kasarani filled to the brim on the last day
Mulei fails to finish in medal bracket but learns a thing or two in long and triple jump.
Kenyan athletes were left with nothing but priceless experience in field events at the IAAF World Under-18 Championships that ended yesterday at Kasarani Stadium.
One of the notable field athletes who appreciated her participation in the global event is Kwathanze Secondary School’s Form Three student, Gloria Mulei, who registered a personal best in the long jump final.
Mulei had a 5.67m jump that saw her finish 13th out of the 15 finalists. Gold went to the event’s favourite Luying Gong of China, who set a new personal best of 6.37m.
Leah Sophy of Germany took silver thanks to a 6.30m jump in her fifth attempt, while Diana Mouillac of France won bronze with a personal best of 6.28m.
Mulei also finished ninth overall in girls' triple jump final after recording a personal best of 12.46m in her third attempt.
Her first attempt was not marked after she overstepped the line. She, however, jumped 12.07m in her second attempt before recording her best ever in the third.
The girls' triple jump gold went to Tan Qiujiao of China, who set a World Under-18 Championships record after beating the 12 finalists. She had a 13.64m jump in her second attempt.
Nacheva Aleksandra of Bulgaria, who set a personal best of 13.54m in her fifth attempt, won silver, while Zulia Hernandez of Cuba (13.29m) won bronze.
“I have been inspired by Tan in triple jump. I would want to stage such a performance like her. I know this needs total dedication and commitment which I am now willing to do,” Mulei said.
Meanwhile, yesterday’s finals attracted a massive crowd that filled the 60,000-seater Kasarani Stadium to the brim.
The finals not only attracted fans from across the country including Kisumu, Mombasa and Mandera, but also had international spectators.
“This is the best ever event I have watched in a long time. I can’t remember the last time Kasarani Stadium was filled to the brim,” said Christine Ndinda from Makueni.
The colourful closing ceremony was graced by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, who was also the championships’ patron.
Kenyatta thanked the Local Organising Committee and the IAAF for working in tandem to make the last edition of the championships a success.
“The championships were indeed a success. The crowd in attendance today was the largest since the championships’ inauguration,” Mrs Kenyatta said.