By AYUMBA AYODI
Eunice Sum, Julius Yego and Caleb Mwangangi wrapped up Kenya’s campaign with victories as the Africa Athletics Championships concluded at Grande Stade in Marrakech, Morocco on Thursday.
Carvin Nkanata and Francisca Koki collected bronze medals in the men’s 200m and women’s 400m hurdles as the women’s team clinched silver in 4x400m relay while their male counterparts settled for bronze.
Kenya finished third overall behind South Africa and Nigeria in the overall standings with 25 medals (seven gold, eight silver and 10 bronze).
However, it was a decline in performance from the 2012 Championships in Benin where Kenya finished second to Nigeria with 27 medals (nine gold, nine silver and nine bronze).
UPHELD GREAT FORM
South Africa topped with 19 medals (10 gold, five silver and four bronze) followed by Nigeria 24 (eight gold, nine silver and seven bronze).
Sum upheld her great form from the Commonwealth Games winning the women’s 800m title in 1:59.45 to complete a hat trick of championship collections within one year after similar exploits at the 2013 Moscow World Championships and at the 2014 Glasgow Club Games.
It was an inspiring show of dominance and teamwork as Sum orchestrated a Kenyan sweep in the two-lap race with her mentor Janeth Jepkosgei (1:59.74) and Agatha Jeruto (1:59.84) joining her on the podium in second and third places respectively.
Sum will now shift her focus on defending the world title next year in China before setting her sights on the Olympic title in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Fresh from clinching Commonwealth title, Julius Yego’ s fifth throw of 84.72m was enough to see him retain his title, beating the 2010 champion Abdelrahman Elsayed (82.35) of Egypt to silver.
Elsayed went into the event a strong favourite, having posted a world lead, Africa record and meet record throw of 89.21 in Shanghai in May. The other Kenyan Alex Kiprotich ploughed his best of 72.43m to finish seventh overall.
There was no let up for the alluring Mwangangi after he collected his second Africa title with victory in the men’s 5,000m race to add to his World Indoor 3,000m and Commonwealth Games gold medals this year.
Mwangangi, who won the 1,500m Africa title in 2012, was easily obliterated Eritrea’s Abrar Osman and compatriot Isaiah Kiplangat to win in 13:34.27.
Courtesy of nation.co.ke