Serem wins first track medal for Kenya in African Games

Amos Serem in action at Nyayo Stadium. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

Former World Under-20 3,000m steeplechase champion Amos Serem won Kenya the first track medal in the ongoing African Games in Ghana.

Serem bagged silver in the steeplechase contest won by Ethiopian Samuel Debisa.

World Under-20 3,000m bronze medallist Simon Kiprop Koech closed the podium, earning Kenya the second medal in the continental showdown staged in Accra.

Kenyan stars produced powerful speeds, leading from the start but could not respond to Debisa’s blistering sprint at the final stretch.

Debisa stopped the timer at 8:24:30, while Serem came home in 8:25 77, and Kiprop crossed the finish line in 8:26:19.

Serem ran alongside his younger brother Edmund, who finished sixth in 8:31:21 in the contest that saw Kenyan and Ethiopian charges renew their rivalry.

Kenyan steeplechasers were on a mission to return the country’s lost glory in the water and barrier race.

World 800m champion Mary Moraa sprinted to the top spot in the 400m heats, earning her place in the semi-final last night after the Heat 5 win.

The Commonwealth Games 800m champion was in a class of her own as she crossed the finishing mark in 52.18 ahead of her closest challenger Asimenye Simwaka of Malwai, who clocked 53.32 for a second place in the heat. Sierra Leone’s Georgiana Sesay was third.

Moraa sailed to the next round where she had the company of Jackline Nanjala who placed third in her heat in a time of 54.11.  Zambia’s Rodah Njobvu (52.03) won the heat while Senegalese Fatou Gaye was second in 53.26.

The 400m was not enough for Moraa in the opening day. She anchored the 4x400m mixed relay team to a second-place to secure their spot in the final.

Botswana topped the heat, clocking a national record time of 3:14.36 with the Kenyan squad finishing second after clocking 3:18.42 as South Africa secured the podium finish in 3:19.63.

“Just anchored my 4x400m mixed relay team to a second place in 3:18.42. We advance to the final at 11:55pm (last night). Thanks for your unending support and for staying awake to cheer us,” said Moraa.

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