Nairobi ready to host U-18 event, declares Nkaissery – PHOTOS
The new blue tartan track at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani will be open for use starting Thursday, six days before the World Under-18 Championships kick off at the 60,000-seater arena.
At the same time, the Athletes’ Village at Kenyatta University will be ready by Tuesday to host close to 3,000 athletes and officials drawn from 131 countries that have confirmed participation.
Speaking on Saturday after a two-hour dry run, Cabinet Secretary of Interior Joseph Nkaissery declared that Kenya is ready to host the five-day youth competition.
SOME WORK UNDONE
Nkaissery said that the marking at the competition arena will start on Sunday with the work being completed by Tuesday where only sprinters will be allowed to use the venue on Thursday and Friday.
Nkaissery, who was accompanied by his Sports counterpart Hassan Wario, Local Organising Committee (Loc) chairman Jackson Tuwei, World Under-18 and Loc Chief Executive Officer Mwangi Muthee and Kenyatta University acting Vice Chancellor Prof Paul Wainaina, said the warm up track will be ready by the end of next week.
They were later joined by the Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinett at Kasarani.
“We are satisfied with the work that has so far been completed. What is remaining is something to do with mopping and sprucing up,” said Nkaissery, adding that the final dry run will be held on Monday.
The dry run was set for Saturday afternoon but Nkaissery changed it to the morning hours to see whether those involved were ready.
SURPRISE DRY RUN
“We wanted to make a surprise dry run but I am not disappointed with what I have seen,” said Nkaissery, who was taken around the facilities by Muthee and Tuwei.
Nkaissery commended the Loc and the Kenyatta University management for their time and dedication saying it will ensure that Kenya presents to the world a “world class competition.”
The entourage toured the five Nyayo Blocks at the village where the athletes and officials will be accommodated and the kitchen. The exercise then shifted to Kasarani where the Cabinet Secretaries inspected the ongoing work at the warm up and competition track and the changing rooms.
Wario said that Kenya was 98 per cent ready since there was still some work to be done.
“It’s until after the closing ceremony that we shall declare the event a success,” said Wario. “Let our visitors know that we are ready to receive them.”
Wario was particularly impressed by the works at Kenyatta University but said that the challenge will be how to sustain the facilities.
“The varsity will have to think about its future and that is why we shall need to sit down and discuss with the management on what to do since we don’t want it to go to waste,” said Wario.
“This should be a model to other varsities hence the need to focus more on sports in a scientific manner.”