Africa Athletics championships: Kenyans and Ivoirians dominate final day in Marrakech
Kenyans and Ivoirians sprinters stole the show on Thursday as the curtains came down on the five-day African Athletics championships at the Grande Stade de Marrakech.
Commonwealth games champions Julius Yego, Caleb Ndiku and Eunice Sum were in sublime forms adding their second championship gold after Glasgow glory as Wilfred Koffi and Muriel Ahoure reigned supreme in the sprints boosting their medal hauls in the Moroccan city.
After his season best win in the 100m on Monday Chinese based Koffi literary dashed off for the finish line in the 200m in 20.25 seconds denying Botswana Isaac Makwala his third gold. Makwala who was part of the 4 x 400m winning relay team for the Southern African team timed 20.51 as American based Carvin Nkanata snatched a rare bronze for Kenya in 20.51.
Koffi will be heading back to Shanghai to beat the deadline for registration for a PHD in Finance.
“I really didn’t think I would win again today after the 100m which was quite tough. I gave it all today and am hoping I can keep the shape and challenge for a medal at the world championships in Beijing next year,” said the jovial sprinter.
Ahoure atoned for her loss to Nigerian sprint queen Blessing Okagbare with a dominant win in the 200m in 22.36 as her compatriot Marie Ta Lou also improved from her bronze in the dash to win silver in 22.87m.
Heroic Yego retains his African title
Patience once again paid off for Yego as he won the gold in Marrakech with yet another fifth round throw of 84.72 his season best. With better conditions than the rainy and windy weather when his throw of 79.28m was enough to win him the gold in Glasgow, the 25-year old four throws were all reasonably measured past the 80m mark.
“This has been a really good year for me and I hope I can wrap it with a medal at the continental cup,” said Yego who won his first African title in Benin.
His closest challenger Abdelrahman Elsayed of Egypt looking to reclaim his 2010 title won the silver at 83.59m as Robert Oosthuizen settled for bronze in 77.81m.
Brilliant Kenyan sweep in women’s 800
In a perfect display of teamwork, Sum led an impressive sweep of medals in the 800m all the Kenyans posting sub 2 minutes in the sweltering heat.
The Kenyan trio was in complete control of the race from the gun as Janeth jepkosgei guided the field at the start. As the bell sounded Sum made his move swiftly tagging Agatha Jeruto as they sprinted away from the field at the last bend.
Sum timed 1:59.45 for her first continental crown with Janeth Jepkosgei adding silver to her 2006 African gold in 1:59.74. Jeruto won her first career medal in third at 1:59.84.
Ndiku’s show of might in 5000
The attempted surge of pace with five laps to go by Eritrean Abrar Osman prodded Caleb Ndiku’s gold rush after his dominant Commonwealth games glory. Ndiku sprung past the Eritrean who had managed to get past his compatriot Isaiah Koech and opened an unassailable 100m gap with two laps to go, and earn his place as the continent’s favorite to stop Mo Farah next month at the IAAF cup.
“Now the plan is to return and finally race Mo Farah and see how it goes,” he said.
World champion Kiprop beaten
Overconfidence and miscalculation denied Kenya its seventh 1500m consecutive title as World champion Asbel Kiprop joining the team after missing Glasgow ill timed his kick against the swift Djiboutian Souleiman Ayanleh who won in 3:42.49. Kiprop reacted too late and was lucky to snatch the silver from his younger compatriot Ronald Kwemoi, the world junior record holder in 3:42.58.
Kwemoi timed 3:42.59.
The Nigerian 4 x400m relay women’s team rounded up their gold medal haul that ranked them second with eight gold, nine silver and seven bronze behind Leaders South Africa who topped with 10 gold medals.
Kenya the silver winner in the women’s relay ranked third overall with seven gold.
Nijel Amos and Makwala helped their relay team to gold in the men’s relay ahead of Nigeria and third placed Kenya.
1.Wilfred Koffi CIV 20.25
2.Isaac Makwala BOT 20.51
3.Carvin Nkanata KEN 20.53
1. Muriel Ahoure CIV 22.36
2. Marie Ta Lou CIV 22.87
3.Dominique Duncan NGR 22.98
1.Eunice Sum KEN 1:59.45
2.Janeth Jepkosgei KEN 1:59.74
3.Agatha Jeruto KEN 1:59.84
1.Caleb Mwangangi KEN 13:34.27
2.Isaiah koech KEN 13:35.73
3.Abrar Osamn ERI 13:36.42
1. Souleiman Ayanleh DJI 3:42.49
2.Asbel Kiprop KEN 3:42.58
3.Ronald Kwemoi KEN 3:42.59
1. Julius Yego KEN 84.72m
2. Abdelrahman Elsayed EGY 83.59m
3. Robert Oosthuizen RSA 77.81m
400m H women
1.Wenda Theron Nel RSA 55.32
2.Amaka Ogoegbunam NGR 55.46
3.Francisca Koki KEN 55.84 NR
20km walk women
1. Grace Wanjiru KEN 1:37.04
2.Emily Ngii KEN 1:38.12
3.Askale Benti ETH 1:40.05
20km walk men
1.Lebogang Shange RSA 1:26.58
2. Samuel Gathimba KEN 1:27.11
3.Mohammed Ameur ALG 1:27.48