The official IAAF pre-competion press conference, Wu18 Championship Nairobi 2017

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Some of the world’s leading teenage athletes joined IAAF President Sebastian Coe and local dignitaries at the official pre-competition press conference on Today, the eve of the IAAF World U18 Championships Nairobi 2017.

More than 800 athletes from 131 countries, as well as an athlete refugee team (ART), have assembled in the Kenyan capital for what will be the final edition of the global championships for athletes in the U18 age group. The championships will take place from 12-16 July.

This is a very big moment in the history of Kenyan athletics,” said Coe. “So much of my career as an athlete was defined by great races and great competitions with Kenyan athletes. Kenyan athletes have made a huge mark on global sport, way before I become a senior international athlete. Your history is our history; our history is your history.

“To have a World Championships here is very important. To the 800 athletes and 130 countries that are here, thank you. And, of course, I’d like to thank the organising committee in bringing this event to fruition.

“These championships are an extraordinary opportunity to watch talent and champions of the future,” added Coe. “It is through these championships that Usain Bolt and Allyson Felix and other greats have emerged. There’s no reason why we won’t see more jewels of the future throughout this week.

“Being here is not a sacrifice; it is a labour of love to be witnessing athletics in a nation that has made such an extraordinary contribution to the history of our sport.”

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