The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Executive Director of Communication Jackie Brock-Doyle has urged Kenya to name World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge as the 2020 Nairobi World Under-20 championships ambassador.
Brock-Doyle believes Kipchoge’s status and achievements will help hype the championships adding that the star will resonate well with the youngsters having won the 2003 World 5,000m title aged 19.
While hailing the Olympic marathon champion for breaking the world marathon, Brock-Doyle described Kipchoge as a great character. Kipchoge set a new time of 2 hours, 1 minute and 39 seconds last year's Berlin Marathon, a feat that saw him voted the 2018 IAAF Male Athlete of the Year.
“Kipchoge is just phenomenal and an extra-ordinary person, who is willing to share with people. I am sure he will be more than ready to take up an extra role at the World Under-20 Championships,” said Brock-Doyle.
Brock-Doyle explained that Kipchoge needs to spend more time in the country talking and educating the local athletes. “I think Kenya needs him more than the outside world especially at this moment,” said Brock-Doyle, during a tour of the Nation Media Group offices at Nation Centre on Friday.
Brock-Doyle, who met Nation Media Group CEO Stephen Gitagama, Editorial Director Mutuma Mathiu and Broadcast Division managing director Alex Kobia, said she is excited that Kenyatta University hostels will once again be used as the Championships Village for the 2020 World Under-20 Championships.
“Athletes during the youth event loved it…it was a big hit,” said Brock-Doyle adding that it will be a good experience for them to stay at one place rather than different hotels across the city, this being the first time majority of the athletes will be experiencing a global competition.
“The creation of one community akin to the Olympics village will expose these young athletes to different cultures and friendship. That is what we want since there is more to life than just athletics,” said Brock-Doyle.
Brock-Doyle is confident that Kenya will pull off a great World Under-20 Championships next year owing to the huge support from the government, Athletics Kenya and great athletes.
Though spurred by great aspects and attributes from the success of the 2017 Nairobi World Under-18 Championships, Brock-Doyle noted that Kenya will have to double its efforts ahead of the world junior event.
“We expect more athletes and media outlets but we are happy that the basic things are in place and that the arena at Kasarani is big enough to accommodate everyone. I believe the organisation will be scaled up but the most important thing we love most is that Kenyan fans have genuine love for the sport,” explained Brock-Doyle.
Brock-Doyle noted that work will be made easier since they will be working basically with the same people behind the success for the 2017 Under-18 Championships.
Brock-Doyle reiterated that the recent terrorists attack at Dusit2 Hotel in Nairobi should not derail Kenya’s preparations for the World Under-20 Championships saying terrorism is a global problem that many countries now have to deal with.
“It only depends on how the security apparatus will handle the situation,” said Brock-Doyle, who commended the country’s security forces for their swift action that saved many lives during the Tuesday attack.
Brock-Doyle, who took her time to condole with the families that lost their loved ones during the attack, said she was the Director of Communication for the 2012 London Olympic Games when terrorists struck the British capital just a day after the city won the bid to host the Olympics.