president Kenyatta rewards Kenyan IAAF World U18 team with Cash and a four-day Trip to mombasa

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday feted the Kenyan team to the just concluded IAAF World U18 Championships at the state house and rewarded each with Sh100, 000 and a four-day trip to Mombasa as a token of appreciation for their performance in the global competition. The team of upcoming young kenyan stars collected a total of 15 medals; 4 gold, 7silver and 4 bronze.

In return He. Uhuru Kenyatta told the young stars to write about their experience on the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) as well as the stay in the coastal city and send the reports back to him.

The fast rising athletes freely and joyfully mingled with the President and expressed their delight as they turn their attention to the 2018 IAAF World U20 Championships to be hosted in Tampere, Finland.

The Head of State also commended Kenyan officials and organizers for making the global event successful, saying they proved to the world that Kenya is capable of hosting international championships including an IAAF Diamond League leg.wu18Statehouse

1-2 Affair for SA in the Boys 100 & 200m race,Mlenga and Tshenolo Fight it out! WU18 Championship Nrb 2017

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The boys' 200m final was something of a repeat of the 100m, with the same two South African athletes fighting it out for the lead.

The order, however, was reversed this time, as Retshidisitswe Mlenga powered past Tshenolo Lemao to take the win in 21.03. Lemao was not far behind with 21.12, while Luis Brandner took another sprint medal for Germany, taking third place with 21.23.

Cuba’s Marisleisys Duarthe, holder of the world U18 best, produced the expected dominant performance in the girls' javelin. After starting off with 57.83m and 57.90m to take a clear lead, she went much farther still with 62.92m in the third round, a distance which no U18 athlete apart from herself has ever bettered with the 500g implement.

Well behind the winner, there was a fierce battle for the minor medals. Dai Qianqian of China was in third for most of the competition, first with 53.55m from round three, then improving to 54.96m in round five, but a final throw of 57.01m by her compatriot Cai Qing relegated her to bronze. Julia Ulbricht of Germany finished just short of a medal with her final-round effort of 54.77m.

Gong Luying won gold for China in the girls' long jump with a consistent series of jumps, topped by 6.37m in the fourth round.

The other medals were decided even later in the competition. Lea-Sophie Klik came through for Germany with a wind-assisted 6.30m in round five to take silver. France's Diane Mouillac had a major improvement on her final jump and the 6.28m she achieved proved just enough to steal the bronze away from Latvia's Kitija Paula Melnbarde by virtue of a longer second-best jump in the competition.

Swirling wind made it difficult for the pole vaulters to reach top heights. There was a victory for the favourite, Matthias Orban of France, the only one to clear 5.00m. He did it on his third attempt, after already being in the lead from Christos Tamanis of Cyprus, the only other athlete left at that height.

Tamanis took the silver with 4.85m, while of the two athletes who ended the competition with 4.70m, Ilya Kravchenko of Ukraine prevailed on countback to take the bronze from the German Daniel Breinl.

Kenyan Steeple chase tradition observed by Leonard Bett winner, IAAF Wu18 Championship Nairobi 2017

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After missing out to Ethiopia in most of the distance races at the IAAF World U18 Championships Nairobi 2017, Kenya won the one gold medal they would have wanted more than any other, with Leonard Bett charging to victory in the boys' 2000m steeplechase final on Sunday (16).

Locked in a battle against compatriot Cleophas Meyan all the way to the line, Bett won a sprint finish in 5:32.52, much to the delight of the large crowd which turned out on the last day of action at the five-day showpiece.

Meyan took the silver medal in 5:33.07, chopping nearly three seconds off his personal best, and Ethiopia's Alemu Kitessa came through for bronze in 5:42.10.

“The race went as planned and I'm happy our strategy for me to kick in the last 200m worked well,” Bett said.

“We were not worried about the Ethiopians at all.”

It was Kenya's eighth victory in the boys' steeplechase at 10 editions of these championships.

“The fans were awesome. They really motivated us,” added the gold medallist.

“We had to maintain the tradition of steeplechase as a race.”

Kipkemoi and Wambui winner on the final day ensures a delightful closing for the Home crowd

jackyWambui

With 10 sets of medals on the line on the final day of the IAAF World U18 Championships Nairobi 2017, there was plenty of excitement for the 60,000 capacity crowd in the Kasarani Stadium on Sunday.

There was much to cheer about for the crowd, with two more golds for the home team to make up for the disappointments of the previous day, plus the fastest girls' 100m hurdles race ever.

Jackline Wambui was the winner of the girls' 800m final with a world-U18-leading time of 2:01.46 after running the second lap within one minute. Lydia Jeruto Lagat, the fastest entrant in these championships, finished just behind her in a PB of 2:02.06.

Hirut Meshesha of Ethiopia was in front on the first lap, reaching 400 metres in 1:01.53, with Wambui on her shoulder throughout. But then – having learnt from the mistakes of their teammates in the boys’ 800m final on Saturday – the two Kenyans made their move at the 500-metre mark and the Ethiopian had no response.

Wambui maintained the lead throughout, and although Lagat tried to attack on the home straight, she was unable to make an impression on the leader. Meshesha held on to take third place, although a long way between the top two, reaching the line in 2:06.32.

There was a similar story of Kenyan dominance in the boys' 2000m steeplechase final. Leonard Kipkemoi Bett and Cleophas Kandie Meyan ran away from the field early and it was just a matter of which of the Kenyans would take the gold. It was Bett who held the lead in the latter part of the race and he won in 5:32.52, with Meyan second in 5:33.07.

The two Ethiopians were left to fight it out for the bronze medal. Alemu Kitessa took it with 5:42.10, pulling away on the last lap to finish more than three-and-a-half seconds ahead of his compatriot Girma Diriba.

It was a different story, however, in the boys' 3000m. Kenya and Ethiopia were once again fighting it out between themselves, as only the four athletes from those two nations were left in front one kilometre from the finish. Ethiopia's Milkesa Mengesha tried a move on the penultimate lap, but after he appeared to be pulling away, the leading group bunched up again. Some 200 metres from the finish it was first the Kenyans – Edward Zakayo and Stanley Mburu Waithaka – then the other Ethiopian, Selemon Barega, who started their kicks.

World U20 champion Barega proved to be the one with the most speed and he took the win comfortably in 7:47.16 after a last kilometre of 2:26. Zakayo followed in 7:49.17 and Waithaka took the bronze with 7:50.64.

Brittany Anderson of Jamaica sets yet another record in Nairobi,Girls 100m Hurdle Wu18 Championship 2017

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Brittany Anderson of Jamaica ran 12.72, the fastest ever 100m hurdles time by an U18 athlete, in winning the final.

Although she was helped by a 4.1m/s following wind, Anderson’s time was so much quicker than the world U18 best of 12.94 set by compatriot Yanique Thompson, she could well have been capable of breaking that mark in legal conditions.

Taking silver behind the Jamaican was Cyrena Samba-Mayela of France with 12.80, also significantly faster than the world U18 best of 12.94. Anderson's teammate Daszay Freeman finished third in 13.09.

Anderson came to these championships as the fastest in the world with a best of 13.04. This performance, however, was bettered by Samba-Mayela in yesterday's semifinals with 12.98, so it was no surprise to see these two fight it out for gold in the final.

Samba-Mayela looked to be pulling away from her Jamaican rival, but then lost her momentum after hitting a hurdle late in the race. She recovered her momentum well, but the race was lost. Anderson took the win by a clear 0.08 margin.

There was a significant gap to Freeman, who never looked like she could threaten the top two, but made it two medals for her country. Yoveini Mota of Venezuela took fourth place, again well behind Freeman with 13.28, and the second French athlete, Mathilde Coquillaud Salomon, finished fifth in 13.37.

Sevval Ayaz of Turkey, looking like a possible contender after a 13.20 in the semifinals, was a non-finisher after a heavy fall early on in the race.

Ethiopia's Contigent Spoils for Kenyans in Epic Duel between the two Two Nations, IAAF wu18 Day 4

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In a penultimate day four session with a record attendance of nearly 88,000 spectators,The Ethiopian contingent of middle-distance runners on Saturday spoiled the party for Kenyans by winning two gold medals in both the boys' 800m and girls' 1500m finals in front of a vibrant near-capacity crowd at Kasarani Stadium.

Despite Kenya missing on some of the finalist medals, the contests were thrilling nonetheless.

The boys' 800m contest evolved into a thrilling four-way battle in the final track event of the night.

After charging through the bell in 51.53, led by Japheth Toroitich of Kenya, the small lead group stayed together throughout the second lap.

While it seemed Toroitich might be able to hold on after his brave effort, Ethiopia's Melese Nberet delivered a late kick to take gold in a new U18 world lead of 1:47.12.

His compatriot Tolesa Bodena also finished well, crossing the line in 1:47.16 to grab second place and secure a one-two for Ethiopia, with Toroitich holding on for third in 1:47.82, as both athletes clocked personal bests.

While Juan Castro of Costa Rica settled for fourth position in 1:49.76, he dipped under 1:50.00 for the first time in his career.

In the girls' 1500m final, Ethiopia again upset the host nation to the disappointment of the local fans.

Winding up the pace in a stunning final lap, Lemlem Hailu crossed the finish line in 4:20.80 after covering the last 300m in 45.00 to take the gold medal.

Her teammate Sindu Girma delivered a superb finish to complete the race in 4:22.14.

Offering some consolation to the thousands of spectators who turned up to watch, Kenya's Jebitok ended third in 4:23.16.

Meanwhile, pre-race favourite Sokwakhana Zazini hit it hard from the start, dominating the boys' 400m hurdles final with a spectacular performance.

Holding the world U18 best of 48.84, which he set back in March, Zazini went unchallenged and stormed across the line in 49.27.

He finished well clear of Kenya's Moitalel Naadokila who grabbed the silver medal in a personal best of 52.06 to the delight of the crowd.

Baptiste Christophe of France took bronze in 52.21, and he too set a career record to earn his place on the podium.

A few minutes earlier, Zeney van der Walt had ensured double gold for South Africa in the 400m hurdles, snatching victory in the dying metres from Jamaica's Sanique Walker in the girls' contest.

The pre-race favourite, Walker led comfortably at the final barrier, which she clobbered with her lead leg and knocked to the floor in a battle with fatigue.

The error drained all her momentum and Van der Walt was able to chase her down, winning by just 0.04 in 58.23.

Back in third, Germany's Gisele Wender came through strongly to set a personal best of 59.17 and grab the last place on the podium.

In another thrilling battle in the boys' discus final, Claudio Romero of Chile took the world U18 title with a world U18 leading mark of 64.33m.

After going in as the favourite, he had to dig deep to beat Ukraine's Oleksiy Kyrylin, who led with a third-round heave of 63.98m before being overtaken by Romero in the fifth round.

It was a historic day for Chile, with Romero securing the first medal of any colour for his country in the history of the IAAF World U18 Championships.

South Africa's Morne Brandon was well behind the top two, snatching bronze with a last-round effort of 58.34m.

Continuing Cuba's fine run of form at these championships, Amanda Almendariaz stunned the favourites to win the girls' hammer title.

She unleashed a whopping 71.12m personal best, adding almost three metres to her personal best, as she set a world U18 lead and climbed to seventh place on the world U18 all-time list.

Her closest rival was teammate Yaritza de la Martinez, who launched the sphere 69.79m in the second round for silver, and the bronze was taken by Belarus's Katsiaryna Valadkevich, who was unable to muster her best on the evening but managed to reach the podium with a 68.17m attempt in the fifth round.

Also producing a surprise, China's Tan Qiujiao recovered from an early foul, soaring to victory in the girls' triple jump final with a massive 13.64m effort in the second round. She added 46 centimetres to her personal best to achieve a world U18 lead.

Aleksandra Nacheva of Belarus, who went into the event as the favourite, tried her best to respond but even a career best of 13.54m in the fifth round was not enough as she took second place.

Cuba's Zulia Hernandez broke new ground to take the bronze medal, opening with a personal best of 13.29m.

Niu Chunge of China racked up a flawless series in the final to win the girls' pole vault gold medal.

Niu cleared six heights in succession with her first attempts, clinching the title with a personal best of 4.20m and adding five centimetres to her previous career record.

Lifting the bar to 4.30m, with the gold already in the bag, she was unable to make it over, but she had done enough.

Germany's Leni Wildgrube put up a fight for the top spot on the podium, successfully clearing 4.15m with her maiden attempt, but she was unable to match Niu's 4.20m effort and settled for the silver medal.

Anna Airault of France was unable to get over 4.15m or 4.20m, after carrying two of her attempts over, and she earned bronze with a 4.10m performance.

Six of the eight athletes in the line-up achieved personal bests, including all three medallists.

Lemlem Hailu' wins Gold Girls 1500M race – IAAF World Under 18 Championships Nairobi 2017

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Few athletes will have faced such an intimidating atmosphere as young Ethiopian pair Lemlem Hailu and Sindu Girma, who entered the Kasarani Stadium on Saturday evening to the sound of a near-capacity crowd screaming for their Kenyan rivals.

But the joy of wading into rival territory is that there is little to no pressure or expectation involved, and in the girls’ 1500m final they ran supremely, sweeping to a 1-2 in a last-lap burn-up and spoiling the party for the hosts.

The early pace had been slow, the field passing 400m in a pedestrian 1:13.21 with South Africa’s Nicole Louw leading the way, and the second lap was almost identical, with the field passing 800m bunched together in 2:26.43. By then Kenya’s Edina Jebitok was looming towards the front, seemingly preparing for an early strike, but it would only be the sound of the bell that coaxed her to the front some 300 metres later.

By the time she passed 1200m in 3:35.69, Jebitok was burning all cylinders at the front, trying desperately to shake the presence of Hailu and Girma, who dogged her slipstream on every step. Approaching the final turn they bolted past, and despite close to 50,000 fans screaming their support, Jebitok had no response.

Hailu continued to accelerate down the home straight, breaking the virtual tape in 4:20.80, her last 300m a swift 45.00. "I was sure of winning coming into this race so I just kept my focus," said Hailu. "I'm very happy to have won Ethiopia a second gold medal."

Her teammate Girma came through strongly for second in 4:22.14. "I expected stiff competition from Kenya in this race," she said. "I had prepared well and I'm happy with the silver medal."

Jebitok was resilient in third, reaching the finish in 4:23.16 despite struggling with injury. "I was poised for a win but I felt pain in my left leg and I couldn't gather enough energy to push me through. I am not impressed. I should have won gold at home."

Rachel Nzangi of Kenya came home a disconsolate fourth in 4:24.70, while it was a long way back to early leader Nicole Louw of South Africa, who claimed fifth in 4:33.40.

Boys' high Jump – Breyton Poole SA emerges World leader with a 2.24m jump IAAF Wu18 Championship,

 poole

World U18 leader Breyton Poole produced one of the most captivating displays of the championships to win the high jump title in Nairobi, the 1.72m tall jumper improving on his personal best three times.

Poole did not have a very good start as he found himself behind on countback for much of the competition, but in the end he asserted his dominance, clearing a height 10 centimetres above anyone else to achieve the biggest winning margin in the history of the championships.

In a high-quality competition with the top six all setting personal bests, Chima Ihenetu of Germany was the runner-up with 2.14m, while Vladyslav Lavskyy of Ukraine took the bronze on countback with 2.11m.

Ihenetu cleared the 2.11m, a personal best by three centimetres, on his second attempt to find himself in third. Poland's Piotr Sztandur and Shaun Miller of The Bahamas were in fourth and fifth after third-time clearances.

Of all entrants in the competition, none besides Poole had previously cleared higher than 2.10m. It thus came as a major surprise when five of the seven jumpers attacking 2.11m cleared the height.

Lavskyy, who entered the competition with a personal best of just 2.06m, was the leader of the competition at this point, the only jumper with a clean slate after taking his best to 2.07m and then 2.11m. Poole also cleared 2.11m on his first attempt, but had previously had a failure at 2.02m.

The next height of 2.14m proved too much for three of the five. Poole, unsurprisingly, went over the bar on his first jump, but just a couple of minutes later so did Ihenetu, now going six centimetres above his previous career best. The two were now tied for the lead, as Lavskyy was assured of getting the bronze.

The competition was effectively decided at 2.16m. The South African needed two attempts this time, but he did clear, while the German took just one jump before passing to 2.18m.

That height proved too much for Ihenetu. His rival watched from the sidelines as the German took the remaining two jumps without getting close to clearing the bar.

The title was now decided. But it was far from over. Poole ordered the bar be raised to 2.20m and once again cleared that on the second try. Then came a first-time clearance at 2.22m. And after that, the bar was raised by another two centimetres.

Poole would have been justified in feeling tired by now, but he did not give up. He failed twice, but then sailed over the bar on what was his 14th jump of the competition.

It was not until 2.27m, a height that would have equalled the championship record, that he had to bow out with three failed attempts.

Breyton is the second South African to win the world U18 title in the event, following in the footsteps of Jacques Freitag, the winner of the inaugural edition of the championships in 1999, who went on to take the world senior title in 2003.

Sokwakhana Zazini,SA lifts the boys' 400M hurdles title – IAAF World u18 Championship Nairobi 2017

 sokwakhana

Pre-race favourite Sokwakhana Zazini hit it hard from the start, dominating the boys' 400m hurdles final with a spectacular performance at the IAAF World U18 Championships Nairobi 2017 on Saturday night.

Holding the world youth best of 48.84, which he set back in March, Zazini went unchallenged and stormed across the line in 49.27, the third-fastest time in World U18 Championships history.

He finished well clear of Kenya's Moitalel Naadokila who grabbed the silver medal in a personal best of 52.06 to the delight of a large home crowd.

Baptiste Christophe of France took bronze in 52.21, and he too set a career record to earn his place on the podium.

“I feel great because I've really been looking forward to this moment, and now it has come. I'm really happy,” Zazini said.

"It didn't go exactly as planned because I had to change (my lead leg) but I couldn't. I don't know what happened.

"I wanted to break the world best again, but it's fine. I'll take it."

China's Niu Chunge racks Up a flawless victory in Girls' Pole Vault– IAAF World U18 Championship Nrb

niuchunge

Niu Chunge of China racked up a flawless series in the final to win the girls' pole vault gold medal on Saturday evening at the IAAF World U18 Championships Nairobi 2017.

Niu cleared six heights in succession with her first attempts, clinching the title with a personal best of 4.20m and adding five centimetres to her previous career record to become China’s first world U18 champion in the event.

Lifting the bar to 4.30m, with the gold already in the bag, she was unable to make it over, but she had done enough.

Germany's Leni Wildgrube put up a fight for the top spot on the podium, successfully clearing 4.15m with her maiden attempt, but she was unable to match Niu's 4.20m effort and settled for the silver medal.

Anna Airault of France was unable to get over 4.15m or 4.20m, after carrying two of her attempts over, and she earned bronze with a 4.10m performance.

Six of the eight athletes in the line-up achieved personal bests, including all three medallists, with the pole vault contested as a straight final.

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