The African Athletics Championships have started. This is the day one report from Justin Lagat, who is our senior writer in Kenya. Justin will provide some highlights of the Championships, as the TV in Kenya covering the African Athletics Championships leaves something to be desired.
The Ethiopian team, post-Men’s 10,000m, June 8, 2022, photo by Deji Ogeyingbo for RunBlogRun
During the last World Athletics Championships that happened in Qatar, Kenya had finished second behind the USA on the medal table. As the world now prepares for another World Championships in Oregon beginning next month, all eyes are on Kenya to see if the nation will remain the best African nation on the global stage. But first, there won’t be a better place for the country to flex its muscles than at the ongoing African Senior Athletics Championships in Mauritius.
Out of the six medals that were on offer on the first day, Kenya managed to win one, a bronze medal in the men’s 10000m final.
The 10,000m race had turned into the age-old competition between Kenya and Ethiopia in the last stages as five runners – 3 Ethiopians and two Kenyans – battled for the top positions. Ethiopians eventually beat the Kenyans in a 1-2 finish. Moges Tuemay won the race in 29:19.01 ahead of Chimdessa Debele in 29:22.74. Abraham Longosiwa took the bronze medal in 29:23.02.
The Men’s 10,000m, 2022 African Athletics Championships, June 8, 2022, photo by Deji Ogeyingbo for RunBlogRun
The other final of the day was the women’s shot put final, which was won by South Africa’s Ischke Senakal after throwing 16.40m. Gabon’s Carine Mekam threw 15.87m for second place, just 8 cm ahead of Zonica Lindeque of South Africa, who won the bronze medal in 15.79m.
In addition to their great performances in the distance events, the Kenyans now have a great star in the sprints who seems to be dominating his event at the games. Ferdinand Omanyala easily sailed through to the finals in the men’s 100m event with his times of 10:05 and 10:07 that he used to win his different qualification heats being the fastest times at the championships so far.
Other Kenyans who advanced successfully in their respective races include Veronica Mutua and Jacinta Shikanda in the women’s 400m heats, Maximilla Imali in the women’s 100m semi-finals, and Elias Ngeny and Nicholas Kiplagat in the men’s 800m heats.
For fans in Kenya, though, it has been a struggle trying to get links to be able to watch the continental event live as there is no TV broadcast showing the event. Hopefully, things may get better as the championships proceed and athletic fans find a way to watch and cheer their favorite athletes.