Kenya's Grace Wanjiru smashed the championships record in the women’s 20km race walking, Nigerian athletes bagged three gold medals, Botswana's Isaac Makwala and Zambia's Kabange Mupopo took 400m honours on the third day of Athletics action at the 11th African Games in Brazzaville, Congo on Tuesday.
Grace Wanjiru shaved more than two minutes off the previous record of 1:40:35, set by Tunisia’s Trabelsi Chaima in Maputo 2011, to cross the line in 1:38:28.
Aynalem Eshetu of Ethiopia grabbed the silver in 1:39:49 ahead of her compatriot Askale Tiksa, who took the bronze medal with a season's best time of 1:42:25.
Two-time African champion, Isaac Makwala powered through the men's 400m finals to claim his first individual All African Games, title in 44.35.
Kenya's Boniface Mweresa took the silver in a season’s best 45.01 while Onkabetse Nkobolo, also from Botswana, won the bronze medal in 45.50.
"I just came here to win, nothing else, because I want a medal," said Makwala after the race. "This was a busy and tough season for me. I didn’t know that I would come here. I initially planned on running the 200m when I came here, but then changed my mind and decided to run the 400m."
Zambian Kabange Mupopo lowered her national record from 50.86 to 50.22 to win the women’s 400m ahead of the much improved Patience Okon George from Nigeria.
Okon George smashed her lifetime best to pick the silver in 50.71 while Namibia's Tjipekapora Herunga took the bronze in 51.55. Nigerians Oluwatosin Adeloye (51.82) and Margaret Etim (52.64) finished in fourth and fifth places respectively.
Sofia Assefa cliched the African Games title in 9:51.30 ahead of Hiwot Ayalew (9:51.94) while Purity Cherotich lead the Kenyans home in third place in 9:52.54. Magdalene Masai finished fourth in 9:56.76 and Joan Chepkemoi was fifth in 10:04.54.
Amusan hands Nigeria a surprise gold
African junior champion Oluwatobiloba Amusan stormed through to give Nigeria the gold in the 100m hurdles as Nigerian women claimed three gold medals in spate of an hour in Brazzaville.
Tobi Amusan clocked 13.15 to win the gold medal ahead of Gnima Faye (13.28) of Senegal and her countrywoman, Lindsay Lindley Weyinme (13.30) who took the bronze.
Kelechi Nwanaga won the African Games women's Javelin gold with a best throw of 52.70m ahead of Mary Zuta of Ghana (50.93m) and Jo Ane Van Dyk of South Africa (50.52m).
Ghanaian quartet of Flings Owusu Agyapong, Gemma Acheampong, Beatrice Gyaman and Janet Amponsah took the silver medal in 43.72 while Cote D'Ivoire with Roswita Okou, Adeline Gouenon, Triphene Adjona Kouame and Marie-Josee Ta Lou settled for the bronze medal in 43.98.
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