The Kenyan government has pulled out all stops to fast-track preparations for July’s World Athletics Under-20 Championships in Nairobi.
Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed and Principal Secretary Joe Okudo on Thursday assured members of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) and a visiting delegation from World Athletics’ Monaco headquarters that all outstanding works will be completed in time.
There have been concerns that the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, venue for the July 7 to 12 competition, might fail to meet the time-lines set by World Athletics, the global track and field governing body.
The laying of a synthetic running track at Kenyatta University, which will host the Athletes’ Village, has also dragged for close to three years.
Wanton vandalism at Kasarani, shortly after the venue hosted the 2017 World Under-18 Championships, saw goons spirit away valuables, including television sets, electronic fittings at the Media Centre and Media Tribute, cables and other valuables, left the stadium for dead.
KISS OF LIFE
The LOC for the July championships is now having to reinvent the wheel and start from scratch to give the kiss of life to the stadium whose Chinese-inspired construction was completed in 1987 during the reign of the late President Daniel arap Moi.
But, during a briefing to the Monaco and Nairobi teams at Nairobi’s Safari Park Hotel Thursday, Amina and Okudo assured that the works will be right on cue and the celebrated venue will be off life support.
“The steering committee, that comprises of senior government officials, has been meeting weekly and all issues raised will be resolved,” Amina assured.
Athletics Kenya President Jack Tuwei, who is also the chairman on the under-20 championships' LOC, and the event’s CEO Myke Rabar both thanked the government for activating visa waivers for the guests and also customs waivers for essential equipment ahead of the junior championships, besides offering all the support required to get the show firmly on the road.