Ethiopian Jemal Yimer Mekonnen won the men's 10,000m title to claim the first gold medal of the 21st CAA African Senior Championships in Athletics in Asaba, Nigeria - Asaba 2018 - on Wednesday.
Kicking away from a lead group of four with just over half a lap to go, Yimer, who took his time in the early stages, crossed the line, arms held wide, in 29:08.01.
“This wasn’t easy,” said Yimer, who was fourth at these championships two years ago and fifth over the distance at the World Championships last year. “There was a lot of competition from my teammates and the humidity made it difficult.”
The 21-year-old Yimer was fourth at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Valencia early this year.
Yimer’s teammate Andamlak Belihu Berta, 19, who was tenth at the IAAF World Championships in London last year, held off Uganda’s Timothy Toroitich to secure an Ethiopian 1-2 on the podium.
Belihu clocked 29:11.09 for silver while Toroitoch took the bronze in 29:11.87. Kenyan Vincent Kipsang ended in fourth in 29:14.52, 11 seconds ahead of compatriot Kipsang Temoi, who finished fifth.