When 600 children involved in the IAAF World Athletics Day came to Taarnby Stadion in Copenhagen to take part in the opening meeting of the outdoor season, Taarnby Games, it coincided with the arrival of summer in Denmark.
Warm weather and a clear sky dominated the day, but the children, eager to compete after a long winter, almost forgot about their running, jumping and throwing, when one of their athletic heroes arrived. On World Athletics Day, IAAF Ambassador Wilson Kipketer took the time to meet the youth of Danish athletics, and within minutes he was surrounded by children, all wanting an autograph on their shoe, their vest or their bib.
A lot of hopeful youngsters kept asking the World 800m record holder for advice about their upcoming competitions, and the Kenyan born Dane happily responded.
The children were not the only ones curious about Kipketer’s knowledge. Danish national television was very interested in Wilson’s presence at two training camps for the Danish talent development group in the middle distances this year. 17-year-old Rasmus Terp, who after only nine months athletics training ran the 800m at the World Youth Championships in Marrakesh last July, explained that Wilson Kipketer had already broadened the horizons of the talented middle distance runners in Danish Athletics.
From all around Denmark the Athletics Clubs are reporting increased number of children in their membership ranks. The IAAF World Athletics Day gave 600 of them a perfect start of the new outdoor season. Competing in the warm weather, they even met a World record holder!
Jakob Larsen for the IAAF