Last updated 2 years ago | By DENNIS OKEYO
Kenyans capped unprecedented team dominance to win the 10,000m final on day four of the African Senior Athletics championships on Saturday with a 1-2 finish.
Stacy Ndiwa outsprinted her fellow countrywoman Alice Aprot in the final lap to win Kenya’s fifth gold medal in 38:30.38 while Aprot settled for silver.
The race developed between Kenyan, Ethiopia and Uganda, with Kenyans exchanging the lead between Pauline Korikwiang, Ndiwa and Aprot before Asaba’s humidity took a toll on Korikwiang forcing her drop out of the race midway.
Meanwhile, Africa champion Mathew Sawe once again showed he is one of the best high jumpers in the continent as he jumped to another African title on Friday.
The Kenyan said he wanted to confirm his status as the best in Africa when he cleared 2.30m to equal his national record on Friday evening, the third day of the continental championships inside the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba, Nigeria.
The lanky Kenya, coached by Frenchman Moussa Fall joined the big league of high jumpers a fortnight ago when made his debut at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Monaco where he finished eighth.
He jumped 2.24m, in an event won by Russia’s Daniel Lysenko who jumped 2.40m. Lysenko has since been suspended after breaching anti-doping regulations.
Sawe, 30, is also set to compete at the Birmingham and Zurich Diamond league meetings in August 18 and 30. Sawe beat South Africans Chris Moleya (2.26m) and Mpho Linksm jumped 2:15m in winning the Africa title.
“I’m glad with my performance as I wanted to confirm my status as an African champion. The two South Africans really pushed me, but I kept my composure to win the title again,” Sawe told the Standard Sports on phone from Asaba.
He added: “Moving to Paris where my coach is based has helped me. I am enjoying the facilities and I will be competing again at two Diamond Leagues meetings.
“I am happy be selected for IAAF Inter-continental Championships in Ostrava, Czech Republic in September where again I expect to face stiff competition.”
On his part Olympic steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto, has stood up as championships runner.
At just 23, the water and barriers specialist has starred across all age categories and big meetings in a span of eight years.
He won his first Africa title on Friday after clocking 8:26.38, while Moroccan Soufianne El Bakkali registered 8:28.01 for silver place with Ethiopian Getnet Wale settling for bronze in 8:30.87.
Kipruto’s outstanding trophy cabinet includes: Under-18 title (Lille, 2011), World Under-20 (Barcelona, 2012), World Championships (London, 2017), Olympic Games (Rio 2016), IAAF Diamond League Trophy (2016, 2017) and the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, last April and now African Senior Athletics Championships crown.
Kipruto says his target now is to win the Inter-continental title and run sub 8 minutes.
“It is such a great thing to have all the major medals in my cabinet. I am now experienced enough and had an easy time against the Soufianne El Bakkali who beat me in Monaco Diamond League meeting two weeks ago.”
Steeplechase Kipruto now targets Inter-continental crown and also run sub 8 minutes.