Doubles for Semenya and Ta Lou
ASABA (NGR, Aug 5): Kenya was the top country of 21st edition of the African Championships with 11 gold medals. In the women’s steeplechase World record holder Beatrice Chepkoech clocked 8:59.88 without any pacemaking.Celliphine Chespol was a distant second nearly 10 seconds back, clocking 9:09.61, with Fancy Cherono taking bronze. Caster Semenya won after 400 m also the 800 m 1:56.06 over Francine Nyionsaba 1:57.97 and Habitam Alemu 1:58.86. In the men’s 5000m it was Edward Zakayo, who as 16-year-old emerged prominently on the scene after winning the world U20 title over the distance last month, to take centre stage in 13:48.58 win. Second Getaneh Molla 13:49.06 and third Yemane Haileselassie 13:49.58 to capture one of Eritrea’s two medals at these championships. World champion Elijah Manangoi clocked 3.35.20 to win the 1500 m over Timothy Cheruiyot 3:35.94 and Ronald Musagala of Uganda 3:36.41. Meanwhile on the infield, 2015 world javelin throw champion Julius Yego won his specialty with a second round 77.34 effort. Kenyan quartet of Aron Koech, Alphas Kishoyian, Jared Momanyi and Emmanuel Korir brought the curtain down on Asaba 2018 with victory in the 4x400m relay in 3:00.92, a championships record. South Africa was second in 3:03.50 followed by host Nigeria in 3:04.88. Kenya’s medal haul began in the early morning hours with when Samuel Gathimba prevailed in the 20km race walk, clocking 1:25:14 to beat South African Lebogang Shange by 11 seconds. Ncincihli Titi took a convincing victory in the men’s 200m in 20.46 with Nigeria’s Oduduru Ejowvokoghene edging Luxolo Adams to prevent a South African 1-2. Both clocked 20.60. On the infield, Ischke Senekal took top honours in the shot put reaching 17.24m to win. Nigeria’s gold medal total was bolstered by Glory Nathaniel who won the host’s first title of the day, taking the 400m hurdles by more than a second in 55.43. Grace Anigbata won the triple jump with a 14.02m leap in the second round, before Nigeria also claimed the penultimate event, the women’s 4x400m relay, prompting the day’s loudest roar from the nearly-packed house in 3:31:17. Marie Josee Talou completed the sprint double with 22.50 win in the 200 m. Odile Ahouanwanou of Benin scored an upset victory in the heptathlon, tallying 5999 points to beat defending champion Marthe Yasmine Koala of Burkina Faso by 32 points. Erika Nonhlanhla Seyama of Swaziland took the women’s high jump at 1.83m. Yamjaleye Beletew Mitiku opened the day with a surprise victory in the women’s 20km race walk, defeating favourite Grace Wanjiru of Kenya by more than four minutes in 1:31:46. Based on IAAF report.