Nairobi watches as world's finest outdo one another in Under18 Championships

By Dennis Okeyo: Tuesday, July 18th 2017 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Athletics
Mary Moraa in action during the IAAF World U18 Championships at Kasarani Stadium on Wednesday. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

In Mary Moraa, Kenyans catch a glimpse of imminent glory

Form Two student at Mogonga Secondary School steals show in the five-day event.

And so it ended. After five days of nothing but high-octane IAAF World Under-18 Championships at Kasarani, the world said goodbye to the boys' and girls' event.

For four days, the stadium was full with expectant fans cheering and shouting themselves hoarse. The competing boys and girls gave them every reason to cheer. One of them was the new sprinting queen, Mary Moraa aka Kisii Express.

When the history of Kenya's sprints is written, Moraa will get a chapter, no doubt. Her prowess in the 400m race was commendable, her pace breathtaking.

Kenya has not been calling the shots in the short races, but on that chilly Friday evening, Moraa tore up the rule book and rewrote a paragraph or two. She announced her arrival aon the international stage in true fashion and was delighted with her exploits.

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"Yes, I'm quite happy with the silver. I would have wished for the big one (gold), but this is a journey and I will get there one day," said a delighted Moraa.

She won silver behind Barbora Malkova of the Czech Republic on Day Three of the championships. Moraa is a Form Two student at Mogonga Secondary School, Nyamache, in Kisii.

Dominic Ndigithi, a student at Kiendege Secondary School in Nyamira, also lighted up the stadium when he surged home to win a bronze medal in the boys' 10,000km walk. He clocked 41:25.78, much to the joy of fans at Kasarani.

Yao Zhang of China was the walk winner, while Salavat Ilkaev of Russian, who participated as an independent, was second. Other highlights of the five-day event include the heroic performances of Leonard Kipkemoi Bett and Cleopas Kandie Meyan in the 2,000 steeplechase and girls' 800m, where Jackline Wambui won gold.