NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Hosts Kenya started off their medal hunt on a
good note as Dominic Kipkemboi and George Manangoi dominated the
boys’ 1,500m to qualify for the final of the World Under-18
Championships on Wednesday in Nairobi.
Kipkemboi led from the front to stamp their authority and send a
clear message to the host’s rivals that Kenya was out to rule
the roost at the final World Youth Championships.
Kipkemboi opted to
take his traditional gun-to-tape performance, winning the first
semi-final in 3:48.77 after cruising through 800m in 1:55.79 and
1200m in 2:58.17.
Algeria’s Oussama Cherrad who came in second in 3:48.93 ahead of
Abebe Dessassa from Ethiopia in third taking 3:49.58 to all
George, the younger
brother of world 1,500m silver medalist Elijah Manangoi, stayed
in the middle of the pack before going second behind Ethiopian
Belete Mekonen at the bell.
Mekonen, who clocked
3:16.41 past 1200, fell behind Manangoi, who kicked with 300m to
go to win in 3:55.00.
“I had a lot of
respect for my opponents though I did not want to strain myself
very much because I’m eyeing the top podium finish on Friday. I
lost to Kipkemboi during last month’s trials but now I believe
in myself. I have been training well, I’m in good shape and I
hope to lower my personal best on Friday,” said Managoi.
In another race,
Kenyans Mary Moraa and Sharon Jebet sparked to form and claimed
their spots in the girls’ 400m semifinals.
Moraa, staged a
tactical race to triumph in a personal best of 54.07 having held
on to the lead by the 300m mark to go.
A late surge from
Brazilian Rosalia Dos Santos Giovana at the last bend could only
trigger her sprint as she pulled out stronger in the final
straight to win in a personal best of 54.29 ahead of Giovana
while Serbia’s Sekulic Kataria came in third also in her best
time of 54.86 to qualify for the semifinals from the second
athletes are keen to return home with some silverware. The team
of six arrived in Nairobi on Monday and went straight to
The Uganda team has
Daniel Kiprop and Hosea Kiplangat in 1500m, Joshua Kibet and
Bekele Apenyo in 800m, Sarah Chelengat and Esther Chekwemoi
3000m and Daniel Kiprop in 1500m.
The team was
received by IAAF head Sebastian Coe who said, “This event is so
helpful as it prepares young athletes for bigger games in
Coe thanked Uganda
and Kenya for hosting the two big events of the IAAF this year
and that is the World Cross Country in Uganda on March 23 and
the IAAF U18 Championships starting today in Kenya.
Kenya tightens security ahead
of global athletics event
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The Kenyan government has thrown a security cordon at the venue
and environs of the 2018 World Under-18 Athletics Championships
that get underway on Wednesday in Nairobi.
All the facilities
that will play host to the event that will run from July 12 to
16, have been secured in one of the biggest security
undertakings to be seen in the country in recent times.
Contingents of armed
law keepers from all security formations are leaving nothing to
chance in order to secure the games that saw some teams pull out
owing to purported security concerns.
“We have left
nothing to chance to host secure games. Those countries that
pulled out will rue the day they made their decision not to
attend the event,” the CEO of the local organizing committee,
Mwangi Muthee, remarked.
Zealand, Australia, Canada, Switzerland and defending champions
United States have already announced their withdrawals from the
All vehicles heading
to the venue of the event must undergo security checking more
than 100 meters away from the stadium and police officers are
under instructions to be courteous albeit maintaining a hawk eye
A police post has
been set up at the venue to deter any uncertainty that might
visit the games.
The President of the
International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)
Sebastian Coe told reporters on Tuesday that the association
decided to make the event the last edition in order to shift
focus to regional and continental competitions in order to give
impetus to develop the sport in areas that are lagging behind.
“I wish young
athletes competing this week, many of who will be travelling
abroad for the first time in their lives, an enjoyable
experience and a memorable time,” Coe said.
Among the athletes
who passed through the ranks of the Under 18 championships are
world record holders Usain Bolt (100m and 200m) and David