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Titbits from Nairobi 2021 World Junior Athletics Championships


Namibia’s Beatrice Masilingi (L), 2nd place, Jamaica’s Tina Clayton (C), 1st place, and Switzerland’s Melissa Gutshmidt (R) 3rd place celebrate after the 100m women’s final during the U20 World Athletics Championships at the Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi on August 19, 2021. (Photo by SIMON MAINA / AFP)

Ever Smiling Kenyan Volunteers
Visitors to Nairobi for the World U-20 Championships are enjoying one unique qualify of the people, especially the women. From the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to Kasarani Stadium, the venue of the championships, the volunteers are always on the ground to attend to all your requests.

Dressed in green attire with white canvas, they approach you with friendly smiles, first with the local language, karabu, meaning, ‘welcome to Nairobi.’


Other questions will then follow, depending on the response you give and your mood at the time. I am flowing well with them here.

COVID-19 Test For Journalists Every 24 Hours
Top of the requirements you need to carry out your functions as a journalist at the Nairobi 2021 World U-20 Championships is to make yourself available for the COVID-19 test every 24 hours.

At a period when people no longer wear nose masks to enter stadiums in England to watch Premier League matches, the situation is quite different here in Nairobi.


Before my departure from Abuja, I did a COVID-19 test and got the result 22 hours later, which enabled me to board the Ethiopia Airlines flight to Nairobi via Addis Ababa. I thought it ended there. But the compulsory COVID-19 test every 24 hours has just begun. It applies to the athletes and their officials also. It is tedious, as a dip of an object through your nose forces a lot of reaction all over the body. I overheard one of my colleagues saying yesterday that he won’t turn up for another test before the championships end.

I have done mine and collected my accreditation card, but they say I must come back for two or three more tests before the championship ends. I am still thinking if to show up or do a Ben Johnson style. Karabu Nairobi.

Road Construction, Serious Traffic Everywhere
One major thing source of concern to visitors to Nairobi at the moment is the volume of road construction going on around the city.


With athletes and officials from over 200 countries gathering for the championships, it is difficult to get to competition venues or hotels due to vehicular traffic along the route.

Though the organisers provide security vans and siren-blowing motorbikes as escorts to all the teams, that seems not enough.

Namibia’s Christine Mboma poses next to the clock showing her championship record-beating time at the finish line after winning the women’s 200m semi-finals during the U20 World Athletics Championships at the Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi on August 20, 2021. (Photo by Tony KARUMBA / AFP)

One good thing about the Kenyans is that they obey traffic rules and respect the escort vehicles. Don’t be surprised to hear that some athletes miss their events in this championship.


Strange Cold Weather In Nairobi
Even the locals are complaining about the cold weather, which is now making life unbearably for athletes, coaches, and officials taking part in Nairobi 2021 World U-20 Championships.

On arrival at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in the early hours of Sunday, athletes and officials from different countries had a bitter taste of the cold weather. AFN President, Tonobok Okowa, knew of the situation earlier and made adequate arrangements by providing additional jackets for the contingent. It saved the situation, though more jackets may be needed here and quickly too. Trust your man, I have just discovered a joint where the locals take some liquid to help themselves.


(From L to R): South Africa’s Mondray Barnard, Qatar’s Saeed Othman Alabsi, Columbia’s John Paredes and France’s Sasha Zhoya compete in the men’s 110m hurdles heats during the U20 World Athletics Championships at the Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi on August 20, 2021. (Photo by TONY KARUMBA / AFP)

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