In Summary
  • Kenya may have failed to clinch the overall title, finishing fourth, but the country can look back with pride after hosting the most successful World -18 Championships in Athletics with a record turnout of 65,000 fans at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.
  • Kenya wrapped up the last edition of the youth event with 15 medals, finishing fourth, their lowest placing in the history of the event that started in 1999 in Poland where Kenya topped the medal standings.
  • The country lost two titles; boys’ 800m and 3,000m respectively, collecting four gold, seven silver and four bronze medals, their highest ever collection but not in terms of quality.

Kenya may have failed to clinch the overall title, finishing fourth, but the country can look back with pride after hosting the most successful World -18 Championships in Athletics with a record turnout of 65,000 fans at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

Kenya wrapped up the last edition of the youth event with 15 medals, finishing fourth, their lowest placing in the history of the event that started in 1999 in Poland where Kenya topped the medal standings.

The country lost two titles; boys’ 800m and 3,000m respectively, collecting four gold, seven silver and four bronze medals, their highest ever collection but not in terms of quality.

Frome left: Cleophas Kandie (silver), Leonard Bett (gold) and Alemu Kitessa (bronze) pose with their medals on the podium after the presentation ceremony of the 2000m steeplechase medallists during the World Under 18 Championships at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on July 16, 2017. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU |

Frome left: Cleophas Kandie (silver), Leonard Bett (gold) and Alemu Kitessa (bronze) pose with their medals on the podium after the presentation ceremony of the 2000m steeplechase medallists during the World Under 18 Championships at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on July 16, 2017. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU |

However, Kenya won rare medals with Moitalel Mpoke and Mary Moraa’s silver medals in boys’ 400m hurdles and girls’ 400m respectively. Then Dominic Samson claimed bronze in boys’ 10,000m race walk.

The performance of field events athletes by reaching in most of the finals was a clear manifestation that Kenyan athletes have a great future and can do well if exposed to the right facilities and training.

Age dominated discussions at the championship but the loss of boys’ 800m and girls’ 1,500m titles to archrivals Ethiopia owing to tactical errors took Kenyans by surprise as the technical bench owned up to the mistake.

The only time Kenya finished third overall in the competition was during the 2003 Championships in Canada. The county topped the medal standing in 1999 and 2009, finishing second in the rest of the championships.

Head coach Kariuki Gikonyo said although they failed to attain the target of at  least eight gold medals, his charges fought a good battle, winning medals in unfamiliar events and reaching the final in most field events.

Kenya's Edward Zakayo (left) and Stanley Waithaka pose for photos after bagging silver and bronze respectively in the boys 3000m during the World Under 18 Championships on July 16, 2017 at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

Kenya's Edward Zakayo (left) and Stanley Waithaka pose for photos after bagging silver and bronze respectively in the boys 3000m during the World Under 18 Championships on July 16, 2017 at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

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