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Timing gadgets tested as organisers brace selves for World Under 20 Athletics Championships opening ceremony

Saturday, August 14th, 2021 00:30 | By
Seiko Operations and Events manager Phil James with World Athletics under 20 Logistics Director Douglas Wakiihuri at Kasarani on Friday. INSET: Guatemala team’s arrival at JKIA. Photo/PD/ ALEX NJUE

Official timing and measurement provider, Seiko, were on Friday putting final touches at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani Stadium days to the start of the World Under- 20 Championships.

The Seiko team comprises almost 20 engineers drawn from both Seiko’s Japan in collaboration with officials from the World Athletics mostly technical  spending most of the day on Thursday setting up the equipment at the 60,000 seater capacity stadium. 

Local Organising Committee technical director Ibrahim Hussein insisting it is vital that the technology responsible for measuring  performances  from athletes and generating the results continually  keeps improving.

“Seiko will be enhancing all its systems and continuing to introduce new technologies to ensure the athletes can be certain that their performance is accurately and precisely measured.

Better technology  will also assist the officials who make the crucial decisions on false starts and other starting practices,” disclosed Hussein while adding that  the Seiko Photo Finish System manages the finish of all track races. 

Hussein saying Kasarani stadium which has been classified as category A track is in top shape with teams from World Athletics already at the ground to certify it.

“Technically we are happy because the venues are ready. Nyayo Stadium, the warm up are  is ready and there are athletes training from there.

The equipment which we needed,  like hammer, javelin and shot put are all here and we are also happy that the World Athletics technical and competitions delegates  are here to help us, so everything is moving on smoothly,” clarified Hussein while assuring that all the small hitches have been solved.

Hussein saying the warm up area is equally in top shape with all the necessary facilities and equipment put in place for teams to use.

He also hinted that technical team in the process of coming up with a program to suit all athletes at the training area.

“The training area is small so we have to have a program for those who are throwing and track athletes so that they don’t collide.

You see when people are running it is very dangerous to have javelin throw going on as well.

So from Saturday when we get more teams arriving, it will be important to ensure a strict training program is adhered to, we might move all trainings  the field events to Kasarani,” he added.

Meanwhile, Friday night was busy with up to eight nations arriving ahead of the 2021 World Athletics Under-20 Championships.

They were lead by Canada, France, Algeria, Argentina, Botswana, Czech Republic, Colombia and  Dominican Republic.

Theirs arrivals follows that of Poland and Guatemala who already set base in the country for the junior event set to run from August 17 to 22 at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

On Thursday night the Guatemala team promised fireworks after they arrived in Nairobi.

Glendy Teletor, Bryan Matias and  Mariandree Chacon are the three Guatemala athletes that arrived in the country.

The trio were accompanied by coaches Carlos Ortiz, Mario Salomon Pineda and physiotherapist Mario Javier Ruiz.

Teletor and Matias are the race walkers who are coached by 21-year-old Ortiz, a bronze medalist from 2018 World Under 20 Championships in Tampere, Finland.

Chacon is a sprinter who will compete in both 100m and 200m  “We love race walking since it is the sport most people associate with back at home. We come to Kenya with the intention of doing well in that race,” said Ortiz.

Ruiz said the team received endorsement from the Autonomous Sports Confederation of Guatemala to take part in the biennial event.

“We shall hit the ground running immediately as from tomorrow (Friday) so that the athletes can acclimatize and mantain their form and shape. Our target is to win medals,” said Ruiz.

The Central American country located South of Mexico became the second country to send a delegation to Kenya after Poland whose contingent arrived in two batches on Monday night and Tuesday morning.

Just like the Polish team, team Guatemala was booked at Ole Sereni Hotel on Thursday night.

The global event set for August 17 to 22 will see a total of  over 100 countries and 1462 athletes set to compete behind closed doors at Kasarani as a measure to combat the spread of coronavirus.-Amos Abuga

“There won’t be a lot of space, particularly in the first 20 or 30 minutes,” said Gatland. 

“They’re going to be incredibly aggressive and they’ll run hard, so it’s about staying in that arm wrestle.”

Gatland also made three changes to his starting line-up, while stressing the importance of the replacement bench to provide more attacking options later in the match.

“We’ve spoken about the bench and the impact off the bench,” he said in explaining how players such as utility back Elliot Daly and scrum-half Ali Price could benefit if the game opens up.

“We have been happy with the way we have finished in the second half,” Gatland said of the Lions’ performances in losing narrowly to South Africa A and in the first Test.

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