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Kenya on course to deliver U20 games

ATHLETICS By Washington Onyango | March 15th 2021
Sports Heritage and Culture Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed speaking during the commissioning of Mamboleo Show ground in Kisumu into Jomo Kenyata International Stadium on June 24th 2020. (Collins Oduor, Standard)


Just 156 days away, World Under-20 athletics Championship preparations gathers pace

Kenya is targeting to host at least over 100 countries at the World under 20 Championships slated for August 17-22 at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani as preparations for the competition gather pace.

The countdown continues with just 156 left to the global event that was initially planned for last year before it was delayed by a year owing to Covid-19 crisis.

During a media briefing by the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage, the event’s steering and Local Organising Committee assured Kenya is on course to hosting a successful event come August.

The government also directed the Local Organising Committee of the 2021 Nairobi World Under-20 Athletics Championships to ensure that renovations at the designated Athletes Village at Kenyatta University be completed.

The government said the synthetic track that was to be laid at the varsity back in 2017 be put before the end of April this year.

The laying of the synthetic track at Kenyatta University was part of the legacy programmes for the World Under-18 Championships in 2017, but there was a delay in the procurement of the tartan.

But even after the synthetic track arrived, Mondo Track and Field engineers, who were to lay it, had already returned to Spain, making it impossible as the glue that was to be used had already expired.

“Reports from World Athletics confirmed that compared to all athletic competitions held during the coronavirus-ravaged 2020 Continental Tour season, the Kip Keino Classic attracted the most diverse field of athletes with 30 nations represented and was undoubtedly, the most successful,” the Amina Mohammed, CS Sports, said in a speech read on her behalf by the Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage, Simon Kachapin.

“Kenya demonstrated to the world our ability to implement, to the letter, the strict Covid-19 competition protocols, in the process earning the confidence of international elite athletes and officials. Equally, we shall stop at nothing in ensuring the safety of athletes, officials, media and fans at the World Athletics Under-20 championships.”

Amina also challenged AK to adequately prepare Team Kenya to make an impact at the competition in August.

“As a Ministry, we shall spare no resources in ensuring that our athletes are well represented,” the letter read.

“Together with senior officials from the Ministry, I will visit the various training camps to assess our level of preparedness besides offering the necessary financial and material support. Our great athletes have significantly contributed to the development of Athletics and proven to be selfless ambassadors of our country abroad.”

From Left; Cabinet administrative secretaries Sports Gender and social services, Zack Kinuthia his Sports counterpart Simon Kachapin, President Athletics Kenya Gen. Jack Tuwei and CEO World under 20 Mike Rabar during a media breakfast meeting at Serena Hotel, on 15th, March, 2021. [Samson Wire, Standard]

Having hosted a successful Kip Keino leg of the inaugural Classic Continental Tour last year amid the pandemic, Amina is confident Kenya will pull all stops to deliver another world class event.

“We want to build on our success of hosting the Kip Keino Classic Continental Tour which attracted the most diverse field of athletes with 30 nations represented. We demonstrated to the world our ability to implement to the latter the strict Covid-19 competition protocols and we shall stop at nothing in ensuring we deliver a successful World Under-20,” said Amina.

The media briefing was also attended by Joe Okudo, the Principal Secretary, State Department for Sports, Zach Kinuthia, Josephta Mukobe, PS State Department for Culture and Heritage, Zach Kinuthia (CAS of Sports, Culture and Heritage), members of the World Athletics Under-20 Championship Steering Committee, Lt. General (Rtd) Jackson Tuwei, Chairman, World Athletics Under-20 Championship,Mike Rabar, CEO, World Athletics Under-20 Championship and members of the World Athletics Under-20 Championship Organising Committee.

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