Host South Africa got the party started with two gold medals, and a redemption for African record-holder Amy Sène of Senegal on day one of the 20th CAA African Senior Championships at the Kings Park Athletics Stadium in Durban tonight.
South Africa's Stephen Mokoka got the home crowd roaring with a gutsy run to win the men’s 10,000m - the first track final of the five-day championships - in 28:02.97.
Kenya's Wilfred Kimitei took the silver medal in 28:03.18 while little-known Namakwe Nkhasi of Lesotho grabbed the bronze medal in 28:06.33.
Ethiopians Jemal Yimer Mekonnen and Fikadu Haftu Tsadik finished in fourth and fifth positions, in 28:08.92 and 28:09.21 respectively.
Engelbrecht and Sène bury Marrakesh's blues
In the only two other finals of the first day were the men’s shot put and women’s hammer throw, the beaten runner-ups from the 2014 edition in Marrakech move one step up to claim the gold medals.
After taking silver in Marrakesh 2014 with 18.87m, South Africa's Jaco Engelbrecht clinched the men's Shot Put title with 20.00m.
The 2015 African Games champion, Franck Dannique Elemba Owaka of Congo took the silver medal with a throw of 19.89m with Nigerian indoor record-holder Stephen Mozia a close third with 19.84m.
Ogheneakpobo Efekoro of Nigeria was fourth with 19.57m while defending champion from Marrakech Orazio Cremona of South Africa was fifth with 19.15m.
Senegal’s Amy Sene, who won in Nairobi 2010 and in Porto-Novo 2012, but was thwarted from a third successive title in Marrakech 2014, finally got one over her rival, defending champion and 2015 African Games champion Kimalou Laetitia Bambara of Burkina Faso in the women's Hammer throw.
African record-holder Sène claimed her third African Championship gold with a throw 68.35m ahead of Laetitia Bambara who took the silver with 68.12m.
It was the first time for more than two years that Sene have been able to defeat rival Bambara, with their career head-to-head record is now tied at 14 apiece.
Ivorian sprinters lead the way in 100m rounds
Ivory Coast's Murielle Ahouré and Ben-Youssef Meite were the fastest qualifiers for tomorrow's women's and men's 100m Finals at Durban 2016.
Ben Youssef Meite stormed to a 10.15 (+1.3m/s) to win his semi-final heat followed by South Africa's Thando Roto (10.28).
Lesotho's Mosito Lehata won the second semi-final in 10.20 followed by Zambia's Gerald Phiri (10.24) while Liberia's Emmanuel Matadi won the third semi-final in 10.20 ahead of Akani Simbine of South Africa (10.25).
In the women’s event, double world silver medallist Murielle Ahoure was the fastest in the semi-final with her 11.08 seconds (+1.8m/s) heat victory.
South Africa's Carina Horn delighted the home crowd with her fast 11.14 (+1.3m/s) when winning the second semi-final while the 2015 African Games champion Ivory Coast’s Marie-Josee Ta Lou clocked 11.20 (+1.2m/s) to win the last semi-final.
100m WOMEN SEMI-FINALS
Heat 1 Wind = +1.8
1 11.08 AHOURE - Murielle COTE D'IVOIRE Q
2 11.45 NDZINISA - Phumlile SWAZILAND Q
3 11.56 MATIHAKU - Loungo BOTSWANA
4 11.58 MAMATU - Tebogo SOUTH AFRICA
5 11.59 OSAZUWA - Agnes NIGERIA
6 11.84 GYAMA - Beatrice GHANA
7 11.96 ABESSOLO BIVINA - Germaine CAMEROON
8 12.33 MOLAPISI - Ontiretse BOTSWANA
Heat 2 Wind = +1.3
1 11.14 HORN - Carina SOUTH AFRICA Q
2 11.51 ASUMNU - Gloria NIGERIA Q
3 11.68 GOUENON - Nazie Adeline COTE D'IVOIRE
4 12.00 LOUTOY - Joanne SEYCHELLES
5 12.01 WILLIAMS-MENSAH - Persis GHANA
6 12.06 RAZIKI - Assia MOROCCO
Heat 3 Wind = +1.2
1 11.20 TA LOU - Marie Josee COTE D'IVOIRE Q
2 11.60 ACHEAMPONG - Gemma GHANA Q
3 11.63 BASS - Gina GAMBIA
4 11.68 ADA - Udaya LIBERIA
5 11.85 ELEME ASSE - Marie Gisele CAMEROON
6 11.92 BOUELE BONDO - Marcelle Cecilia CONGO
7 12.23 GAMBA - Mildred Priscilla UGANDA
8 12.26 ZEPHANIA - Monicah KENYA
100m MEN SEMI-FINALS
Heat 1 Wind = +1.3
1 10.15 MEITE - Ben Youssef COTE D'IVOIRE Q
2 10.28 ROTO - Thando SOUTH AFRICA Q
3 10.29 MOTHIBI - Karabo BOTSWANA
4 10.39 MVUMVURE - Gabriel ZIMBABWE
5 10.40 OUHADI - Aziz MOROCCO
6 10.51 MUKHALA KAFUNDA - Titus ZAMBIA
7 10.74 DABLA - Kokoutse Fabrice TOGO
8 10.74 PERMAL - Jonathan MAURITIUS
Heat 2 Wind = +0.6
1 10.20 LEHATA - Mosito LESOTHO Q
2 10.24 PHIRI - Gerald ZAMBIA Q
3 10.29 LEOTLELA - Gift SOUTH AFRICA
4 10.29 JAMMEH - Adama GAMBIA
5 10.31 SWARAY - Johs SENEGAL
6 10.49 OTIENO - Mark KENYA
7 10.58 MOTUKTSI - Keene BOTSWANA
8 10.62 NALIALI - Christopher Kevin COTE D'IVOIRE
Heat 3 Wind = +2.1
1 10.20 EMMANUEL - Matadi LIBERIA Q
2 10.25 SIMBINE - Akani SOUTH AFRICA Q
3 10.41 SANNEH - Sawaibou GAMBIA
4 10.47 KASINDA - Brian ZAMBIA
5 10.48 SONKO - Moulaye SENEGAL
6 10.49 CISSE - Gue Arthur COTE D'IVOIRE
7 10.56 SHONGWE - Mlandvo SWAZILAND
8 11.25 KIKI - Didier BENIN
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