Liu Zhekai spectacular throw earns China its first World U18 title , Nairobi 2017 Wu18 championship

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Liu Zhekai was the decisive winner of the boys' javelin with a personal best of 77.54m, becoming the first Chinese boy to win a world U18 title in the event.

Leading from round one, the Chinese thrower backed up his best with 76.96m, the second longest throw of the evening, and another solid attempt measured at 75.23m.

Johannes Schlebusch of South Africa took the silver with a last-round throw of 75.68m, and Song Qingshu made it two medals for China with 73.64m, also saving his best for the last round.

The competition started off well, with three boys throwing beyond the 70-metre line in round one. Liu was the early lead with 73.32m, ahead of Schlebusch's 72.31m, with the Polish world U18 leader Dawid Wegner in third with 70.56m.

The decisive moment came in round two. Liu sent the spear flying to 77.54m, which proved to be a distance none of his rivals could match on the day.

In round three, Schlebusch improved marginally to 72.61m, but otherwise, there was no change in the top positions for the majority of the final. It was only in the penultimate round that the competition was re-ignited.

First, Song Qingshu, down in fifth at that point, had an excellent throw of 70.64m to move into the medals, overtaking Wegner by just eight centimetres. Then Schlebusch improved his best to 74.00m, which in turn motivated the leader to get close to his best with 76.96m.

The order did not change in the final round, but that did not mean there was no excitement. The silver and bronze medallists both improved again. Song added exactly three metres to his best and Schlebusch threw a PB of 75.68m, moving to within two metres of the winner.

Liu ended the competition with a foul, but that took nothing away from the overall quality of his performance, or the winner's joy.

Jaza Kasa, President Uhuru Declares Nairobi 2017 WU18 Championship Open on all days

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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.

Ethiopia's Abersh Minsewo seals the 3000m victory with a kiss, kenyan Emmaculate Chepkirui wins silver

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Kenyans love their distance running, and so the women's 3000m final on Wednesday night was a race we badly wanted to win. With 100m to run, it looked like we were about to be granted our wish if only our leading lady Emmaculate Chepkirui had could hold onto the lead. Unfortunately she had company, unwanted company, in the form of Ethiopia's Abersh Minsewo, who drew alongside in a party-pooping manner of police showing up to a 21st birthday party. Arrested by fatigue, Chepkirui could offer nothing in response over the final metres, and the Ethiopian lady forged her way past for a memorable victory in 9:24.62, just 0.07 ahead of Chepkirui. Afterwards she knelt to kiss the track, a loving thank you for her finest hour.

Kenya's Manangoi and kipkemboi send a message to world by giving impressive perfomances

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Kenyans sent a strong message to the rest of the world with impressive performances as the IAAF World Under-18 Championships began at Kasarani Stadium yesterday.

Dominic Kipkemboi and George Manangoi laid down the marker with dominant displays in the boys’ 1,500m, finishing strong to confirm their rising status in a race Kenya has dominated over the years.

Front-running Kipkemboi, who opened a 40-metre lead at the bell, caused some panic in the stadium when he started limping in the 100m homestretch as Algerian Oussama Cherrad charged behind him.

Kipkemboi however held on to win the race in a personal best of 3:48.77, beating Cherrad (3:48.98) in heat one and booking a slot in Friday's final.
Ethiopian Abebe Dessassa stopped the clock in 3:49.58 to finish third.
Manangoi, featuring in heat two, also did what he was expected to as he easily won the race in 3:55.00. Ethiopia’s Belete Makonen (3:56.1) finished second while Ugandan Daniel Kiprop registered 3:58.68 for third place.

Top Athletes give an impressive show to win first medals in a close contest,wu18 Nairobi 2017

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The world's top teenage athletes produced a superb evening session yesterday to keep the crowd on its feet at Kasarani Stadium, closing out the opening day of the IAAF World U18 Championships Nairobi 2017 in style.

In one of the most exciting contests of the night, the girls' shot put final went down to the wire in a thrilling three-way battle held in wet conditions.

Yu Tianxiao of China took the lead in the fifth round with a 17.62m effort, and teammate Sun Yue fell just three centimetres short of that mark with a 17.59m attempt.

With China looking to earn the top two spots on the podium, Germany's early leader Selina Dantzler spoiled the party with a 17.64m heave to grab the title.

On the track, the girls' 3000m final was equally close, with Ethiopia coming out on top of the host nation in a hard-fought race.

Pushed all the way to the line, Abersh Minsewo managed to snatch the gold medal. She narrowly edged out Emmaculate Chepkirui of Kenya by 0.07, winning the race in 9:24.69.

Minsewo's compatriot, Yitayish Mekonene, took third place in 9:28.46.

Sprinter Tshenolo Lemao delivered a historic performance in the boys' 100m final, becoming the first South African athlete to earn a medal over the distance at a world championship in any age division.

While compatriot Retshidisitswe Mlenga and Jamaica's Tyreke Wilson had entered the final as the favourites, Lemao held his composure after the race was disrupted by two faulty starts, charging across the line in 10.57.

Mlenga, who had earlier won his semifinal in a PB of 10.37 in dry conditions, secured a one-two for South Africa by covering the short dash in 10.61 and Wilson held on for bronze in 10.65.

Meanwhile, in preliminary rounds, Brazil's Lorraine Martins was the fastest of the qualifiers for the girls' 100m semifinals, to be held on Thursday afternoon. She won her heat in 11.85.

Jamaica's Kevona Davis (11.88) and Turkey's Mizgin Ay (11.92) also dipped under 12 seconds to win their respective heats.

In the opening round of the boys' 800m, Melese Nberet of Ethiopia (1:52.53) was the fastest of the qualifiers for the semifinals on Thursday.

Jordan Diaz of Cuba was the best of the entrants in the qualifying round of the boys' triple jump, launching a 15.95m leap to progress as the favourite for Friday's final.

The boys' hammer qualifying round was cancelled due to the inclement weather conditions, with the entire field of 18 athletes automatically entering the medal decider on Friday.

IAAF world under 18 championship opening ceremony:Welcome to the home of heroes

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The IAAF world under 18 championship opening ceremony was was presided over by the President in a short and crisp ceremony without the usual camaraderie and elaborate display often witnessed in other global events such as the world championships, Fifa World Cup, and the Olympics.

The 30-minute opening ceremony started at 4.30pm with the Kenyan national anthem and that of the East Africa Legislative Assembly by the State band.

It was followed by a colourful march-past of hundreds of school pupils, who started at the stadium’s main entrance into the arena while displaying and waving the flags of the 131 participating countries.

As the pupils formed a circle inside the refurbished games arena, acrobats displayed their breathtaking artistic skills that left spectators in awe.

Championships patron and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta stole the show while flanked by former and current world beaters including world 800m record holder David Rudisha, world javelin champion Julius Yego, and former marathon world champion Douglas Wakiihuri.

Others were former Olympics steeplechase champion Julius Kariuki, former national hurdle ace Rose Tata Muya, Olympics marathon silver medallist Catherine Ndereba, IOC Peace Ambassador Tegla Loroupe, and former world 3000m silver medallist Mercy Cherono.

The long wait ends:Kenyan Welcomes the world in a colorful opening ceremony,WU18 Nairobi 2017

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The opening ceremony for the tenth edition of IAAF World U-18 Championships was presided over by His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyattaat Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi on today.

The ceremony was short and crisp without any elaborate display as always witnessed in other global events like the world championships, Fifa World Cup and the Olympics.

The 30 minutes opening ceremony commenced at 4.30pm with belting of the national anthem and that of the East Africa Legislative Assembly by the state band.

This was followed by a colorful march by hundreds of school pupils from the stadium's main entrance into the arena while displaying and waving flags of the 131 participating countries.

Championships patron and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta stole the show while flanked by former and current world beaters including world 800m record holder David Rudisha, World Javelin Champion Julius Yego and former world cross country champion Douglas Wakiihuri.

Others were former Olympics steeplechase champion Julius Kariuki, former national hurdle ace Rose Tata Muya, Olympics marathon silver medalist Catherine Ndereba, IOC Peace Ambassador Tecla Lorupe and former world 3000m silver medalist Mercy Cherono among others.

The First Lady had a brief jog with her contingent on the newly refurbished track before she officially welcomed the President to take charge of the celebrations.

The crowd waved miniature Kenyan flags as the President embarked on his speech that gave fans a reprieve by declaring the five day championships free for all.

"I declare that the event will be free for all, let Kenyans come and watch these global championships as it unfolds in our beloved country," Uhuru said.

In his speech, the President said sports is an integral part of our society that is making Kenya a key pillar in the international games.

"Personally, I want to thank the IAAF for giving Kenya the rare opportunity to host this global event .The event provides a unique platform to unearth new talent and develop future champions," Uhuru said while adding that Kenya is committed to clean and ethical sport practices.

"This Championship is not only about winning but building new networks and furthering your horizons,"Uhuru said.

Moi international sports Center, Kasarani already buzzing with athletes and officials

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IAAF Chief Executive Officer Olivier Gers, who is in Nairobi thanked the Local Organising Committee of the World Under 18 Championships once again and said he hoped that fans will give athletes the loudest cheers at the Moi International Sports Centre, located in the northern city suburbs during the event between wednesday and sunday.

Mr.Olivier had earlier made a two-day site visit of MISC, Kasarani and the Athletes’ Village in nearby Kenyatta University, the International Association of Athletics
After a slight delay to the installation of the new synthetic track at the competition stadium while the material was stuck in customs, work is now complete and the LOC is confident the tracks is ready for the championships.

Gers said Kenya should be proud to have a facility like Kasarani adding : “To have a vibrant, modern equipped stadium that can be re-used in future championships is quite critical,” reacting to a plea by the LOC that the IAAF should in future award hosting rights of even bigger championships to new destination such as Kenya.

Rooney debut match to be against Gor in Dar es Salaam Tanzania as he re-joins with Everton

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Wayne Rooney could make his return to Everton match action in Thursday's Tanzania friendly game.

The Blues fly to Eastern Africa on Tuesday evening ahead of the friendly with Gor Mahia in Dar es Salaam.

After Rooney's return to the Toffees on a two-year deal was officially confirmed today, he is expected to fly with Ronald Koeman and the squad for the the fixture, arranged by new sponsors SportPesa.

The 31-year-old should be at a similar fitness level as the players who returned to Finch Farm this week. He was not involved in England's post-season friendlies, though his 2016/17 campaign ended three days after Everton's due to the Europa League final.
His presence in Tanzania would undoubtedly create a huge extra layer of intrigue and interest.
Everton had scheduled a pre-season friendly in the east African nation of Tanzania, and on Friday announced they will be playing Gor Mahia FC.
Gor Mahia - who are Kenya's most successful club, winning the national league a record 15 times - won a cup played between African sides, earning them the right to take on the Premier League team.
They beat fellow Kenyan team AFC Leopards 3-0 with second-half goals from Timothy Otieno, Oliver Maloba and John Ndirangu.
They will now play Ronald Koeman's men at the 60,000-seater Tanzania National Stadium on July 13 - with the big question now whether they will be playing a team featuring Rooney or not.
It is a far cry from who Rooney faced in his first Everton debut in August 2002, when he played 67 minutes of a Premier League game against Tottenham Hotspur.
His Manchester United debut was truly remarkable - he scored a hat-trick in a 6-2 Champions League thumping of Fenerbahce.

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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