World Athletics happy with progress by LOC as preparations for U20 championships hit top gear

By Amos Abuga
Monday, July 26th, 2021 00:00 | 2 mins read
Athletes compete in 3,000m steeplechase during national U20 trials. Photo/PD/David Ndolo

World Athletics has lauded Kenya’s preparations progress for the World Under-20 Championships slated for August 17 to 22 at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

World U20 Deputy CEO Ruth Egesa said the Local Organising Committee (LOC) has had several  meetings with the world governing body, with the latest happening last week.

“They have been here in Nairobi several times and they’ve approved all the measures we have put in place.

They are confident we shall stage a great showpiece,” revealed Dr Egesa who added that Kenya is entering the final stage in preparations to host safe, secure and successful junior championships.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic,  Dr Egesa said that safety will be the number one priority in an event that has been classified as spectator-free.

“We have discussed all the logistics and we have agreed that the stadium will be split into red, amber and green zones.

Athletes will be in the green zone which means they will be in a bubble and therefore don’t need to be tested on a daily basis like journalists and other officials,” she explained.

 “Initially, training was  supposed to be at Kenyatta University but now we will have our training at Nyayo and Kasarani stadiums.

The facilities have all been improved to international standards,” she added.

LOC and hoteliers have signed deals to have athletes and officials stay in selected city  hotels like  Eka, Tamarind, Stanley, Panafric and Safari Park among others.

Speaking in Naivasha at the weekend during a media training seminar geared towards the event, Dr Egesa challenged journalists to report accurately on the build-up, during and after the event.

40 Countries

“Kenya is a powerhouse in athletics, I believe the journalist will ensure this is seen and heard.

I challenge journalists to get first class information when recording. The whole world needs to see the truth and what is happening.

Let’s work for our nation, let us build our country. Remember we’re bidding for 2025 world championships, so if we can work together alot can be achieved,” she implored.

So far, up to 40 countries from over 130 that have shown interest in gracing the championship have confirmed their participation.

“Confirmation is on a daily basis so those are the numbers as of the end of last week.

We expect more to confirm this week as well,” added Dr Egesa who disclosed that the first country will be arriving on August 3.

Meanwhile, World Under-20 Championships media, broadcast and communication director, Alex Kobia said there will be a limited number of accredited journalists to the event and the decision was based on the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic.

“We have been restricted to accredit only a total of up to 100 journalists both local and foreign.

Factoring in the protocols, the refurbished media tribune can accommodate that number factoring the walk in and outs.

There will also be a media centre from where journalists can work,” Kobia told journalists.

Amos Abuga

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