Kenya overtakes Nigeria, Uganda grabs first gold as African Championships ends in Nairobi

Submitted by Yomi Omogbeja on 2 August 2010 - 9:50am

Kenya overtook Nigeria and South Africa to win the medals table on the last day of competition as the 17th CAA Safaricom African Athletics Championships  concluded last night at the Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi, Kenya.

Coming into the last day of the five day championships in third place, the host nation grabbed five more gold medals to edge out their rivals, despite the shock loss by the pre-race favourite and team captain, Janeth Jepkosgei in the women's 800m.

World 800m silver medallist Janeth Jepkosgei looked on course to win the event when Algeria's Bourkas Zahra attacked from the inside lane and unleashed a last gasp sprint to win the race in 2:00.22.

Jepkosgei was timed at 2:00.50 for silver with Malika Akkaoui of Morroco settling for bronze in 2:01.50.

A disappointed Jepkosgei said after the race: "I ran the first lap well and I was sure of victory but the Algerian came from no where and stole it.

"I am disappointed because the crowd urged me on and I am lost for words," said Jepkosgei.

Kenyan long distance runners however made up for the women's 800m gold medal loss, with Edwin Soi leading a Kenyan 1-2-3 sweep in the men's 5,000m. Soi capitalised on Vincent Yator troubles just before the finish to snatch gold.

The new champion clocked 13:30.46 ahead of Yator, who took silver in 13:30.53. Mark Kiptoo completed Kenya's sweep with a bronze medal after clocking 13:32.45.

Uganda's Moses Kipsiro was placed fourth in 13:39.80 with Ethiopian Imane Merga coming home fifth in 13:41.00.

Olympic 1,500m champion Asbel Kiprop kept his composure to win gold. Kiprop shook off strong opposition from Amine Laalou of Morroco and Ethopia's Gebremedhin Woldegirgis before snatching gold in 3:36.19.

Laalou took silver in 3:36.38 with Woldegirgis settling for the bronze (3:36.65).

World's 3,000m bronze medallist Milka Chemos of Kenya held off Ethiopian Assefa Abede Sofia for victory in the women's 3000m Steeplechase in a championship record time of 9:32.18 with Assefa taking silver in 9:32.58.

Kenyan Lydiah Rotich beat her compatriot Mercy Njoroge to win bronze medal in 9:37.32.

Uganda's gold and Redemption

Sarah Nambawa won Uganda's first gold in the field events with a national record of 13.95m in the women's Triple Jump ahead of Nigerians Nkiruka Domike (13.71m) and Otonye Iworima (13.65m), who got silver and bronze medals respectively.

Moroccan Hayat Lambarki caused a major upset in the wome's 400m hurdles by sneaking a last ditch win on the finish line over Nigeria's Ajoke Odumosu.

Odumosu the pre-race fovoutite was timed at 55.97 seconds for silver and Maureen Jelagat Maiyo of Kenya was third in 56.74 seconds.

Odumosu however redeemed herself by anchoring the Nigeria's women's 4x400m relay team to gold in 3:29.26.

Same for 800m specialist Janet Jepkosgei who came back strongly in the last 100m to anchor Kenya to silver in 3:35.12 ahead of Senegal led by Amy Mbacke Thiam,who settled for bronze in 3:35.55.

Egyptian Amr Seoud Ibrahim Mostafa won his first major championship gold medal as a senior sprinter after scooping the men's 200m. Amr Seoud crossed the finish line in an Egyptian national record of 20.36 seconds.

Ivorian Youssef Ben Meite took the silver in 20.39 seconds with South Africa's Simon Magakwe winning bronze in 20.56 seconds.

Nigeria extended their domination in the continental women's sprint events with Damola Osayemi clinching gold in the women's 200m in 23.36 seconds.

South Africa's Estie Wittstock took silver to give her country's third sprint medal in 23.50 seconds and Gabon's Perennes Pau Milama settled for bronze in 23.59 seconds.

Other highlights

Egypt's second gold medal of the championships came in the men's javelin throw. Abdelrahman Ehab El Sayed, a former world junior silver medallist, won gold after a throw of 78.02m in the second last round.

South African Gerhardus (75.96m) and Kenya's Julius Yego (74.51m) took silver and bronze respectively.

Nigerians also shared in the field glory as Mirian Ibekwe won the women's Shot put gold with her second round throw of 13.67m.

Kenyan Priscilla Isiaho took silver medal in her season's best throw of 13.62m and Doris Ratsimbazafy of Magadascar took bronse with a throw of 13.56m.

Kenyan Grace Wanjiru broke the only African record of the championships when winning her third African 20Km Race Walk title in 1:34.19.

Tunisia's Chaima Trabelsi took the silver medal in 1:35:33with Ethiopian Aynalem Eshetu settling for bronze in a season's best time of 1:41:46.

Benin will host the next edition of the championships in 2012 subject to their submission of a solid guarantee and financial backing from their government to the CAA by September.

Selected Results:

Women's 400m Hurdles Final
1. Hayat LAMBARKI  MAR 55.96 
2. Ajoke ODUMOSU   NGR 55.97   
3. Maureen Jelagat MAIYO KEN 56.74   

Women's 200m Final
1. Damola OSAYEMI  NGR  23.36  
2. Estie WITTSTOCK RSA  23.50 
3. Perennes Pau ZANG MILAMA GAB 23.59

Women's 3000m Steeplechase Final
1. Milcah CHEMOS KEN 9:32.18
2. Sofia ASSEFA ABEBE ETH 9:32.58
3. Lydiah ROTICH  KEN 9:37.32 

Men's 200m Final
1. Amr Ibrahi MOSTAFA SEOUD EGY 20.36   
2. Ben Youssef MEITE CIV 20.39  
3. Simon MAGAKWE RSA 20.56  

Women's 800m Final
1. Zahra BOURAS ALG 2:00.22  
2. Janeth CHEPKOSGEI KEN 2:00.50  
3. Malika AKKAOUI MAR 2:01.01  

Men's 1500m Final
1. Asbel KIPROP KEN 3:36.19  
2. Amine LAALOU MAR 3:36.38  
3. Gebremedhin WOLDEGIRGIS ETH 3:36.65

Men's 5000m Final
1. Edwin SOY KEN 13:30.46 
2. Vincent YATOR KEN 13:30.53  
3. Mark KIPTOO KEN 13:32.45 

Men's High Jump Final
1. Kabelo KGOSIEMANG BOT 2.19  
2. Bong MATOGNO CMR 2.15  
3. Fernand DJOUMESSI CMR 2.15

Men's Javelin Throw Final
2. Gerhardus PIENAAR RSA 75.96 
3. Julius YEGO KEN 74.51

Women's Triple Jump Final
1. Sarah NAMBAWA UGA 13.95   
2. Nkiruka DOMIKE NGR 13.71   
3. Otonye IWORIMA NGR 13.65 

Women's Shotput Final
1. Mirian IBEKWE NGR 13.67 
2. Priscilla ISIAO KEN 13.62   

Women's 4x400m Final
1. NIGERIA NGR 3:29.26  
2. KENYA KEN   3:35.12 
3. SENEGAL SEN 3:35.55  

Men's 4x400m Final
1. KENYA  KEN  3:02.96 
2. BOTSWANA BOT 3:05.16
3. NIGERIA  NGR 3:06.53 
20km Race Walk

1. NJUE Grace Wanjiru KEN  1:34:19 (AR)
2. TRABELSI Chaima TUN  1:35:33
3. ESHETU SHEFRAWE Aynalem ETH  1:41:46 (SB)

Complete Day 5 Results

Final Medal Table