In Summary

  • That Europe hosts 10 of the 14 events on the Diamond League calendar is an imbalance that must be addressed.

Having been in the heart of media operations at last month’s IAAF World Under-18 Championships in Nairobi, and currently covering the senior championships in London, I have no doubt in my mind that Kenya can host major sporting competitions.

Comparing media operations in Nairobi and London, for instance, there have been rave reviews on how Nairobi pulled it off in grand fashion despite the under-18s being the lowest in International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) age-group championships.

Stable and reliable Wi-Fi connections, a fast results service coupled with complimentary meals and drinks (including beer and spirits) for the local and international media have been huge talking points on the Nairobi success.

Local (and a select number of foreign) journalists were also accommodated free of charge by the Jackson Tuwei and Mwangi Muthee-led Local Organising Committee in Nairobi where brilliant volunteers were indefatigable in their delivery. Such largesse isn’t being enjoyed here and, unlike Nairobi where journalists received printed results promptly after each race, there are no such luxuries at the London Olympic Stadium, much to the chagrin of scribes here.

There’s no free food nor complimentary drinks while accommodation costs an arm and a leg. Indeed, Nairobi can match the big global capitals in event organisation if the under-18 championships are anything to go by.

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