NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The recently-concluded International Association
of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Under-18 Athletics
Championships which ended in Nairobi on July 16 was a great
success despite musing some big names.
powerhouse, the U.S. who were also the defending championships,
led five other nations in pulling out of the event, citing
Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada also cited
security reasons but the latter four added the rider that
the event was too close to the Commonwealth Youth Games
scheduled for July 18-23 in Bahamas where up to 1,300
young athletes from 70 nations and territories aged
between 14 and 18 are expected to attend.
were unfounded because we held successful and
incident-free games. Boycotting nations are the biggest
losers and probably it is time they told us the actual
reasons for their pulling out,” the CEO of the local
organizing committee (LOC) Mwangi Muthee told Xinhua on
athletes the most and those who were absent from the
Nairobi event missed out on all the fun and a chance to
gauge their performance among the best runners of their
Even as they
referred to security fears as their basis for pulling out,
it is instructive to note that nowhere is safe all over
the world and incidents of terrorism happen in Europe and
in other places that were once thought to be safe.
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenyan sports fans watch games of the 2017 IAAF World
U18 Championships in Nairobi, July 16, 2017. The 2017 IAAF
World U18 Championships concludes on Sunday in Nairobi.
The Boston Marathon
bombing in April 2013 did not stop people from attending the
event - in fact, more people turned out the following year to
spite terrorists by not allowing to conceding territory to them.
pulled out denied their young athletes their first international
sporting experience especially at a time in their budding
careers when they needed it the most, and also took away fun
from them. It is a chance that has gone forever,” Athletics
Kenya (AK) Senior Vice-President Paul Mutwii noted.
“The idea of housing
the youngsters in one place instead of different hotels was
supposed to achieve a purpose and one only needed to be present
at the athletes’ village and the stadium to understand what I am
talking about,” he said.
scientist, Bernard Migo, said the absentee athletes missed the
opportunity to interact with the outside world and how to
contribute to something bigger then themselves.
“Youth play sports
to have fun, belong to a group, find excitement and gain
recognition. Those whose countries pulled out missed a chance to
help them improve their social interaction and confidence with
their peers from around the globe,” he noted, adding that he
wouldn’t be surprised if some of them opted out of sport.
Migo said being
involved in athletic experiences is not just about winning or
losing, but more about other issues like effort, skill-building
and team participation.
motivates athletes to work harder for next time and they view
competition as opportunities to learn from their successes and
failures; always trying hard to pursue excellence not
perfection,” the expert said.
which featured more than 2,000 athletes from over 131 countries
from across the globe, was won by South Africa with five gold
medals, three silver medals and two bronze medals followed by
China with five gold medals, two silver medals and four bronze
Hosts Kenya finished
a disappointing fourth, their lowest position in the
championships - but with the highest number of medals, 15.
Officials of IAAF
described the 10th and final edition of the Under-18
championships as the most-well attended in the event’s
twenty-year old history.
Successful World Under-18 championships
wrapped up in Kenya