President Uhuru tributes Team Kenya after stellar WU18

Team Kenya for mixed relay celebrate their win in the 4x400m mixed race during ...
Team Kenya for mixed relay celebrate their win in the 4x400m mixed race during their WU18 championship at Moi sports centre Kasarani stadium,Nairobi in July 15,2017. Photo/Tabitha Otwori/

President Uhuru Kenyatta led the country in congratulating Team Kenya after an exemplary performance at the IAAF World Under 18 Championships that concluded on Sunday in Nairobi.

Uhuru also thanked First Lady Margret Kenyatta, who was the patron for the Games, for her undying support for the championship.

The Head He also had a word for the mammoth crowd that showed up to witness history in the last Under 18 event despite the rising political temperatures in the country.

“By winning an overall tally of 15 medals, these young men and women have, once again, reminded the world of our defiant spirit of hard work, dedication and resilience.

“In itself, the team exemplified true patriotism by flying the country’s flag with great pride and representing the nation with real distinction.

“More importantly, these young men and women competed, and won, cleanly; further dignifying the sport through fair competition. Thank you for making Kenya proud,” he said.

Mr. Kenyatta said the global showpiece that was the last of its kind served as a reminder that Kenyans – irrespective of our differences, affiliations and preferences – can rally behind its own as one nation.

“Let the unity of purpose that brought us together continue binding us during this electioneering period and beyond. I am committed to continuing to showcase our country’s strength and our people’s spirit to the world, to ensure that better and more prosperous days lie ahead for all Kenyans.

“Thank you to all the visiting teams for showing great trust in us; and most importantly, the over 180,000 fans who turned up to follow the proceedings at the stadium, and millions of others who followed the action on television. Thank you for making this the most memorable Under-18 Championship,” President Uhuru said.

Sports Principal Secretary Ambassador Kirimi Kabeeria and Local Organising Committee chairman Mwangi Muthee  added that Kenya is ready to host another international event.

Kirimi said that the Ministry of Sports Art and Culture (MOSCA) in partnership to Athletics Kenya (AK) will start bidding for the IAAF World Under 20 Championships – formerly known as World Junior Championships – adding that they will start bidding for the 2020 edition or the senior event.

“I’m very happy and proud of the Under 18 success. If we shall not be able to bid for the Junior Championships I hope the IAAF will consider letting us host one Diamond League or even the World Challenge. Kenyans have showed that they love athletics and would like to see more of this events being hosted here where the world beaters come from,” Kirimi said.

Thousands of athletics lovers had showed up for the event but were turned away after the stadium was packed to capacity. Many turned up with their young ones without fear of stampede or being dispersed using teargas.

Team Kenya had the best performance at the championships with a total of 15 medals; four gold, seven silver and four bronze medals.

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