Chepngetich tops 10,000m in a tough African show

Kenya's Janeth Chepngetich celebrates after winning women’s 10,000m gold medal at the African Games, in Accra, Ghana on Thursday. [Courtesy]

Janeth Chepngetich produced a blistering kick to claim the women’s 10,000m gold medal at the African Games, pushing Kenya to more glory at the African Games in Ghana.

Chepngetich, who staged a solo battle, outkicked Ethiopian women, Wede Kefale and Tekan Amare about 110m before gloriously sprinting to the finish line in a super speed.

Chepngetich took the title in 33:37.00 at the showdown staged at the University of Ghana Stadium in Accra on Thursday evening as Ethiopia’s Kefale clinched the silver with 33:38.37, and her compatriot Amare secured the bronze in 33:51.50.

The 13th edition of the African Games is coming to a close today.

"This was my first time at the African Games. I was expecting to do my best but I didn't expect a win. I prepared myself very well for the competition through a good training programme drawn by our coach, and which we strictly followed," Chepngetich, 24, said after the surprise victory.

The African Games title confirmed her desire to compete at international championships.

Chepngetich’s title followed Angella Okutoyi’s tennis singles gold medal.

Last September, she won the Prague 10km and in October, she placed third at the Valencia Half Marathon. In January this year, she finished fourth at the Valencia Ibercaja 10km.

Yesterday, at the penultimate stage, Kenya’s indomitable spirit could not play in favour of the country’s hunt for more gold medals in the half marathon.

Nancy Jepleting, a Napoli City Half Marathon second runner-up won a bronze in the women’s half marathon.

Jepleting, 22, was the only Kenyan fielded in the 21km contest run yesterday.

She lost the top spot to South Sudan’s Loliha Atalena and Ethiopian Zewditu Gelaw who won gold and silver respectively.

Atalena won the half marathon in 1:14.36 ahead of Gelaw (1:14.40) as Jepleting completed the podium in a time of 1:15.07.

Jepleting was followed by Rebecca Cheptegei of Uganda and Lesotho’s Blandina Makatisi who came in fourth and fifth respectively.

Kenya did however not secure a medal in the men’s half marathon showdown.

Eritrean road racer Samson Amare stormed to victory in 1:05:04 closely followed by homeboy William Amponsah of Ghana who clinched silver in a time of 1:05:13. Isaac Mpofu of Zimbabwe took the bronze medal in 1:05:37.

Kenya’s Panuel Mkungo clocked 1:06:30 to finish sixth in the race under punishing temperatures in Accra.

Wiseman Were, the only Kenyan in the men’s 400m hurdles placed fourth in the final, losing to gold medallist Morocco’s Hindi Saad and Botswana’s Victor Bonnye and his compatriot Tisang Kemoroa who bagged silver and bronze respectively.

Were, the 2022 Commonwealth Games 4x400m relay team bronze medallist seemed headed for victory in the 400m hurdles contest but stumbled at the hurdle, metres to the finish line.

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