What a week! The curtains have drawn on the IAAF World U18 Championships and it couldn't have been better. Heroic performances, a party atmosphere and the friendliest hosts imaginable – Nairobi 2017 was a genuine epic. 

Size matters, or does it?

High jump winner Breyton Poole at the IAAF World U18 Championships Nairobi 2017 (Getty Images)

You have to be tall to be a champion high jumper, right? Wrong. South Africa's Breyton Poole, all of 1.72m (5ft 7in) defied the laws of physics to take victory in the boys' high jump with a whopping 2.24m.

Ever since he took up the sport at the age of 10, people told him he wasn't tall enough to truly succeed, so there was sweet satisfaction for him in Nairobi.

“They thought I wouldn’t be able to adapt to it because I was so short,” he said afterwards. “I proved them wrong.”

Parade: meet the rain-makers

Ethiopians ()

When it comes to the middle distance races, Kenya expects, so when their arch rivals from Ethiopia wade into their home stadium and defeat them at the disciplines they love best, it hurts. However hard it must have been for their athletes competing in the frenzied atmosphere of Kasarani Stadium, imagine what it was like for Ethiopians, knowing that bar a handful of teammates, no one in the arena wants you to win.

But they're built tough, Ethiopians, and they took gold in the boys' 3000m, boys' 800m, girls' 1500m and girls' 3000m. Lemlem Hailu and Sindu Girma (above) were the heroines of the girls' 1500m final, raining on the Kenyan parade on Saturday night by taking a 1-2 and relegating the home nation's leading hope, Edina Jebitok, to third. 

Maasai Magic

Kelvin Sawe Tauta ()

David Rudisha, 2.0? Maybe that's a bit presumptuous on our part, but what's certain is that the Maasai tribe has produced another big talent in the shape of Kelvin Sawe Tauta, who contributed to Kenya's fourth-place finish in the mixed 4x400m along with reaching the 400m semi-finals. It was a name familiar to some of us in the media, as 10 years ago international journalists on an IAAF trip had been welcomed to the Maasai Mara to complete a long run and follow Paul Tergat and his training group.

Afterwards the journalists shared soft drinks with local Maasai community members, one of whom was Napatao (pictured above), the great grandfather of Tauta. The youngster attended one of the two local schools which took part in the IAAF's Athletics for a Better World Programme, and it proved a proud day for all in the Maasai community as he made his mark on a global stage in Nairobi. 

Triple threat

Jordan Diaz after winning the boys' triple jump at the IAAF World U18 Championships Nairobi 2017 (Getty)

Jordan Diaz was not a name known to many before this week, but by the time the 17-year-old Cuban left the Kasarani Stadium, word of the youngster's exploits on the runway had spread like wild fire around the world, so much that even senior stars of the event were acknowledging that they had a credible threat coming up through the ranks.

Diaz put the competition to bed with a 17.00m effort in the third round, then soared to 17.30m in the fourth, a world U18 best, a whopping 64cm better than he had ever jumped before coming to Nairobi. Remember the name.

Let's get loud 

Jackline Wambui wins the girls' 800m at the IAAF World U18 Championships Nairobi 2017 (Getty Images)

The 60,000 people who thronged the Kasarani Stadium on Sunday afternoon may have had a ringing in their ears for several hours afterwards, thanks mainly to the exploits of Kenya's Jackline Wambui, who powered away to win the girls' 800m and lead a 1-2 with teammate Lydia Jeruto Lagat.

Wambui's winning time was 2:01.46, but in the mayhem that gripped the stadium afterwards, no one was looking at the clock. The Kenyan pair set off on a lap of honour, with thousands of adoring fans chanting, cheering, waving and worshipping their new heroines. The noise was, for want of a better word, insane. 

Kids today... 

Barbora Malikova of the Czech Republic at the IAAF World U17 Championships Nairobi 2017 (Getty)

Here's a fun fact: if Barbora Malikova had been born two days later, she wouldn't have been here in Nairobi, and the girls' 400m would have been all the worse for it. The Czech 15-year-old was born on December 30, 2001, barely old enough to be eligible for the championships, but she didn't just show up, she showed off.

Malikova came from way off the pace to slice through the field over the latter half, taking gold in 52.74 and slicing more than a second off her PB. Two days later, the second youngest competitor in Nairobi, Germany's Talea Prepens, swept to gold in the girls' 200m final in a PB of 23.51. Kids today, eh? 

Magnificent Marisleisys

Marisleisys Duarthe in the javelin at the IAAF World U18 Championships Nairobi 2017 (Getty Images)

If she was that way inclined, Cuba's Marisleisys Duarthe could have packed up her stuff and left after the first round of the girls' javelin, having launched the spear 57.83m. However, she wanted more than just a gold medal.

In the third round she stepped up and flung it better than any Masai warrior, the javelin landing 62.92m away for a championship record and longer than any other U18 thrower in history. She won the event by almost six metres. Now THAT'S dominance. 

 Asante, Kenya 

Kenyan fans at the IAAF World U18 Championships Nairobi 2017 (Getty)

If there was one great thing about the IAAF World U18 Championships (and there were many) then it was the people. Decked out in their nation's colours, the Kenyan fans came filing through the gates of the Kasarani Stadium each day beaming wide smiles, extending the arms to welcome the athletics world.

What made it unforgettable, however, was their support anytime their nation's athletes took to the track, or indeed field. Whether it was a high jumper clearing a bar in warmup, a thrower unleashing a personal best in qualifying or a middle distance athlete storming to victory, they roared their support all week, creating an incredible setting for live sport. An incredible championships with the friendliest of hosts.

Farewell, Nairobi. We'll miss you.