LOC positive as Nairobi WU18 renovations hit top gear

Engineering works at the Moi International Sports Center Kasarani have been projected to be complete by Thursday, paving way for the installation of the tartan track in readiness of the IAAF World Under 18 championships in Nairobi.

Local Organizing Committee (LOC) CEO Mwangi Muthee made the assessment when he declared a total of 130 countries have already confirmed participation at the four-day global showpiece set for July 12-16.

The figure just falls short of the 150 that were expected to converge at Kenya’s capital for what will be the final edition of the biennial showpiece for youth athletes. The rest, bar the six that pulled out of the competition, have two weeks to confirm their participation.

Renovations have hit a notch higher following the arrival of the new tartan track at the Ports of Mombasa with Muthee confident it will only take a maximum 14 days to complete the installation process.

“Mondo the official IAAF partners are going to use the same technology they used at the Barcelona Olympics stadium in 1992 where they were not supposed to remove everything.

“The survey has been done and the realization is that the work done by the Chinese in the foundation is great. The drainage all round the stadium is also good so we made a lot of saving,” Mwangi told Citizen Digital.

The stadium will have two stations each for the pole vault and shot put as recommended by the IAAF. In effect, the steeplechase water jump had to be moved just a bit outside, changing the whole stadium set up as it eyes the class 1 classification.

“We cannot hold the event if our tartan track is not accredited. One of the key areas that the accreditation engineers will be looking out for is the water logging; how water drains and how long it takes to drown in case it rains,” the LOC chair added.

Ticket sales will start off next month with the upper tier going for Ksh200 (USD 1.94) and the lower tier going for Ksh1000 (USD 9.68).

“Once we officially launch the ticket sale we are going to give 50 tickets for school going children who will plant 50 trees as an institution as part of the Green Belt Movement which was founded by the late Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai.

“They will pick a day of their choice where they will come and witness the historical event,” Mwangi said.

Mwangi urged the public to show in large number and show the world the beauty of the country and the kindness of its people.