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Kenya records worst performance in World U18 despite hosts tag

Kenya registered the worst showing ever at IAAF’s World Under 18 Championship since its inaugural edition in 1999, despite hosting the 10th and final event.

The country finished fourth with 15 medals, four gold, seven silver and four bronze, the highest number of medals in the competition which was not enough to give her a decent finish.

Having played second fiddle to Ethiopians in races that fans expected straight gold and silver medals on Saturday, the athletes had to play catch up on Sunday, the final day of the competition, as they started the day placed sixth.

After clinching gold and silver in boys’ 2,000m Steeplechase and a similar result in girls’ 800m as well as silver and bronze in boys’ 3,000m, the medal count saw Kenya move fourth and second on the placing table with 124 points.

The country has on two occasions emerged top of table, during the inaugural edition held in Poland in 1999 and 10 years later in Italy during the sixth edition, while the country had not finished outside the top three countries before the just concluded edition. South Africa emerged top of the table with five gold, three silver and a similar number of bronze for a total of eleven medals.

The country dominated in sprints with four of their five gold medals coming from boys’ 100m and 200m, where they picked gold and silver. They also clinched gold in boys’ and girls’ 400m hurdles.

China finished second with 11 medals, five gold, two silver and four bronze having stamped their dominance in field events, with all their medals being from these disciplines but for boys’ 10,000m walk where they clinched gold.

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