Athletes bag 15 medals in Africa Junior Championships

By GILBERT WANDERA

Kenya finished in fifth position during the just concluded Africa Junior Championships held in Mauritius.

Kenya was placed in this position after collecting four gold medals, nine silver and four bronze.

The championships were won by Nigeria who finished with nine gold medals, seven silver and three bronze medals. South Africa were second on the medal standings after collecting seven gold, nine silver and eight bronze medals.

On the last day of competition,  Kenyan runner Sheila Chepngetich collected a bronze medal in the 1,500m event in  a race that was won by  Ethiopian Dawit Seyaum who clocked 4:09.00. The Kenyan finished in a time of 4:13.15.

Moses Mukono from Kenya won the 5,000m event in a time of 13:54.36.

Dominance

As usual Kenya and Ethiopia dominated in the long and middle distance races whereas South Africa won its medals in the throw events and Egypt came out tops in the field events.

In high jump,  Algeria’s Kasen Omar was the winner after  jumping  2m11 in his first trial (he then failed the 2m14). He was  followed by  Nigeria’s Okpara Theddus ( 2m05) and Muchichwa  Takudzwa  from Zimbabwe  with a jump of 2m00.

Algeria’s Haddar Dihia won the  400m hurdles in a time of  58.82.

The expected battle in the 200m between Nigeria and Mauritanian athletes did take place as expected but it was Nigerian athlete Ododuru Divine who clocked 21.19 to win gold while  Permal  Jonathan crossed the finish line in 21.26 taking second place.

North African side Morocco won the 110m event after Koussi Mohammed posted a 14.14 time to claim the gold medal.

Surprise performance

Another surprise performance was by the small Lesotho delegation who left the competition with their heads high after Sechele Lerato won a gold medal in the triple jump event with a 12m 52 jump. He finished ahead of Nigeria’s Brume Ese and Bendrif from Morocco.

The javelin and shot put women’s events were claimed by South Africa after Wilke Megan and Jordaam Lezaan won their respective finals.

The best performance of the last day was achieved by Ethiopia’s Adhana  Berke Kahsay in the 800m when she finished the two rounds of track in 1:46.94.

Ethiopia’s   Weldetsadik  Weynshet posted a  9:59.46 time to become Africa’s champion of the 3000m steeplechase, while  Kenya’s  Marion Jepkonga (10:02.46) and Cheruto  Lina (10:03.74) won silver and  bronze.

The South Africans were the best in the throwing events claiming the discus gold.

The championships were closed at a colourful ceremony occassioned by the traditional sega dance, which sounded across the stadium and charmed the public.

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Africa Junior Championships Nigeria Kenya