Ethiopian World 10,000m record-holder Kenenisa Bekele held on to win the men's 5,000m in a closely contested race in 13:49.67 ahead of Kenyan Isaac Songok (13:49.91) on the final day of the 16th CAA African Athletics Championships in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Bekele, who pulled out of the 10,000m during the week due to exertions from winning his sixth world cross-country title in Scotland in March, outsprinted Songok who settled for the silver with 13:49.91, while Ethiopian Ali Abdosh picked the bronze medal in 13:50.64.
Bekele's younger brother, Tariku, who did most of the pacing for his brother, faded in the last 200m clocking 13:53.03 to finish fourth.
After the race, Bekele said: "I had to change my decision to run because many people were asking about me.
"Since the World Cross Country Championship, I have had to take 10 days of training off and I have only been back in training for 20 days."
"This is why I was not sure I would run today and track is very different to cross country, but I had to do it in front of my own people, because they really wanted to see me," he added.
Mutola loses, SA wins
Kenyan 19-year-old Pamela Chelimo (1:58.70) caused the biggest upset of the day after beating Mozambique’s former Olympic and multiple world 800m champion Maria Mutola (2:00.47)in the final of the women’s 800m.
Nigeria’s Ajoke Odumosu won the women’s 400m hurdles in 55.92, whilst Morocco’s Lhabz Lamiae was second in 56.07 and Burundi’s Soulama Aissata third in 56.13.
The duo of Vivian Chukwuemeka (17.50m) and Kelechi Onwuchukwu (16.29m) swept the women's shot put event for Nigeria taking gold and silver respectively, with South Africa Veronica Abrahamse third in 16.00m
South Africa bagged 22 medals (12 gold, two silver and eight bronze medals) to become the top nation, out of 46 African countries, at the 16th CAA African Athletics Championships which ended in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia yesterday.
Nigeria and Ethiopia rank second and third with 19 (seven gold, seven silver and five bronze) and 15 (six gold, six silver and three bronze) medals respectively, while Kenya and Egypt follow at fourth and fifth.
Two young South African sprinters, Isabel le Roux and Thuso Mpuang, scored brilliant victories in the 200m finals and their 4 x 400m relay team won the country's third gold medal on the day.
Mpuang won in 20.53 ahead of Mauritius’ Stephen Buckland (20.62sec) and Botswana’s Fanuez Kenosi (20.72), who took silver and bronze respectively.
Le Roux,on her part, clocked 22.69 seconds ahead of Mali’s Kadiatou Camara (22.69 NR) and 100m champion Damola Osayomi of Nigeria (22:83).
The 4X400m quartet of Pieter Smith, Ockert Cilliers, Sibusiso Sishi and LJ van Zyl clocked 3:03.58 to win gold defeating Sudan (3:04.00)and Senegal (3:05.93).
Nigeria won gold in the women’s 4x400m relay in 3:30.07 ahead of Kenya, second place in 3:37.67 and Senegal, third place in 3:38.42.