Kenya 800m sweep, Okagbare double gold, SA relay win the highlights in Nairobi - AAC Day 3

Submitted by Yomi Omogbeja on 30 July 2010 - 4:47pm

Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria continued their dominance as the 17th African Senior Athletics Championships 2010 enters Day Three today at the Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi, Kenya.

Kenyans Richard Mateelong and Ezekiel Kemboi relegated Ethiopians to the back seat as they double up in the men's 3,000m Steeple Chase.

Mateelong took the race in front of vociferous home crowd in a time of 8 minutes and 23.54 seconds. Kemboi was second in 8:26.13 and Ethiopia's Roba Gary Chubeta was third in 8:27.15 ahead of fourth place compatriot Nahom Mesfen (8:30.25).

It got better for the home crowd earlier as defending champion David Lekuta Rudisha led a clean sweep of the men's 800m for the Kenyans.

The tall and lanky 2010 world 800m leader cruised to victory in 1 minute, 42.84 seconds, ahead of compatriots Alfred Kirwa, second in a season's best 1:44.85 and Jackson Kivuva, third also in a season's best time of 1:45.47.

Beijing 2008 Olympic 1,500m champion, Nancy Jebet Lagat took another gold for Kenya edging out defending champion, Gelete Burka Bati of Ethiopia in 4 minutes and 10.43 seconds.

Burka Bati settled for silver in 4:11.12 with Morocco's Btissam Lakhouad taking the bronze medal in 4:11.81.

Okagbare double gold

Nigeria's Blessing Okagbare won the women's long Jump with a leap of 6.62metres in her penultimate jump. Her first jump of 6.55 metres would have been enough to win the competion, as she passed her 3rd and 4th round to anchor the women's 4x100m relay.

The silver medal went to her compatriot, Comfort Onyali with a jump of 6.42 metres and Moroccan Jamaa Chnaik finished third for bornze with 6.30 metres.

Okagbare left the Long Jump pit to lead a Nigerian quartet of Lauretta Ozoh, Agnes Osazuwa and Damola Osayemi to gold in the women's 4x100m relay in 43.45 seconds. Cameroon was second in 44.90 seconds and Ghana finished third in 45.40 seconds.

When Okagbare returned to rejoin the Long Jump competition, she was welcomed with a chorus of 'Igwe' from the appreciative Kenyan crowd - in reference to a popular Nigerian acronym for greeting kings in Ibo land.

Amantle Montsho of Botswana successfully defended her African 400m crown with a dominant win in today's final. Montsho took the gold in a season's best time of 50.03 seconds.

Former champion, Amy Mbacke Thiam of Senegal took the silver in 51.32 seconds and Nigeria's former world junior champion, Shade Abugan settled for the bronze medal in 51.63 seconds.

Libya new sensation, Mohammed Khawaja stormed to a new national record as he overcame the former champion and pre-race favourite Gary Kikaya of Congo to win the men's 400m gold in 44.98 seconds.

Sudan's Rabah Yousif took the silver medal in 45.18 seconds and Kikaya snatched the bronze in a photo-finish with fourth placed Mark Kiprotich Mutai of Kenya, with both athletes timed at 45.28 seconds.

SA show

South Africa's Thuso Mpuang overran Nigeria's anchor leg Obinna Metu to snatch a shock win in the men's 4x100m to give the quartet of Hannes Dreyer, Simon Magakwe and Lehann Fourie the gold in 39.12 seconds.

Metu and the rest of the Nigerian quartet of Fred Agbaje, Benjamin Adukwu, Ogho-Oghene Ogwero had to settle for silver in 39.22 seconds.

Ghana's quartet of Emmanuel Appiah Kubi, Nana Kofi Sanah, Godwin Hukporti and Zakari AZIZ picked the bronze medal in 39.31 seconds.

In the Discus women final, Elizna Naude of South Africa took the gold with a throw of 56.74 metres, with Kazai Suzanne Kragbe of Cote D'Ivoire second with 55.53 metres and Egyptian Sarah Hasseib Dardiri third with 46.51 metres.

L.J. Van Zyl led a South African 1-2 to win the men's 400n hurdles ahead of teammate Cornel Fredericks in a season's best 48.51 seconds.

Fredericks also ran a season's best of 48.79 seconds for silver with Mamadou Kasse Hanne of Senegal taking the bronze in 49.10 seconds -also a season's best.

Day Three Results

Day Four StartLists - July 31, 2010