Even the subsequent torrential downpour that caused major disruptions to the programme could not dampen the sense of occasion as Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta declared the Nairobi 2017 IAAF World Under 18 (WU18) Championships open.
The Head of State gave his citizens the gift of attending the biggest track and field event ever hosted in Kenya free of charge as he officially welcomed competitors from over 129 nations who are bidding for a slice of history.
“This occasion is a very special one for me personally and for the Kenyan people. Sports, as you all know, occupy a unique place in our society.
“Indeed, it is not an exaggeration to say, Kenya has been a major player in international sports and I assure you that in Kenya, you will find many enthusiastic sports’ fans,” the Kenyan leader said on Wednesday afternoon.
President Uhuru arrived at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani a few minutes past 4pm local time (+3GMT) and barely half an hour left to the start of the first event of the afternoon, the closing ceremony had to be cut short to keep the schedule running on time.
There was no customary team’s match past, firework, dances and other pomp and flair that ushers in such events.