By AYUMBA AYODI
Kenya got off to a false start at the Africa Championships in Marrakech as they lost the men’s 10,000m title to Amlosom Nguse from Eritrea on Sunday night.
Heavyweights Kenya and Ethiopia were made to eat humble pie as Nguse stunned them to victory in 28:11.07 with home athlete Elaziz Mustapha claiming for silver in 28:11.36.
Glasgow Commonwealth Games silver medallist Josphat Bett Kipkoech was Kenya’s best finisher claiming bronze in 28:11.61.
The Kenyan team was a pale shadow of the one that swept the podium places at the 2012 Championships in Benin.
Peter Kirui (28:34.48) and Charles Cheruiyot (28:47.08) finished sixth and eighth respectively as the Kenyans struggled with fatigue owing to a disastrous connection of flights to Marrakech.
They only had hours to prepare having reached Marrakech on Saturday morning after a seven hour stop-over in Dubai and another nine hours delay in Casablanca while waiting for their connecting flights.
Ethiopians Adugna Takele and 2011 Daegu World bronze medallist Imane Merga, who is also the 2011 World Cross champion, settled fourth and fifth in 28:12.27 and 28:17.75 respectively.
In 2012, Kenneth Kipkemoi clocked a championship record time of 27:19.74 to take the gold medal guiding Mark Kiptoo (27:20.77) and Lewis Mosoti (27:22.54) to second and third places.
The Kenyan women 100m also failed to reach the final when Millicent Ndoro and Sabina Mukoswa finished seventh in their respective events.
Ndoro clocked 12.08 in a semi-final that was won by double Commonwealth Games champion Blessing Okagbare from Nigeria in 11.20.
Mukoswa crossed the line in 12.26 as Claude Muriel from Cote d’Ivoire triumphed in 11.19 to reach the finals.
Kenya’s Tera Lagat, who finished 12th at Glasgow Commonwealth Games and Elijah Kimitei, wound fourth in their respective Group qualifications to reach men’s long jump finals.
Lagat leapt 7.76m in his third attempt to finish behind winner South African Khotso Mokoena while Kimitei jumped 7.74m to qualify for the final in the qualification that went to South Africa’s Zarck Visser(7.92m).
SEMI FINAL BERTH
The 2010 Commonwealth games champion Mark Mutai glided to men’s 400m semi-finals despite finishing fourth in 46.93 in a heat won by Onkabets Nkobolo of Bostwana in 46.78.
Nkobolo’s compatriot Pako Seribe (46.12) also prevailed in his heat where Kenya’s Boniface Mucheru finished second in 46.58 to also qualify for the semis.
Solomon Buoga was not lucky after he clocked 47.41 to finish fifth in another heat that went to Wayde van Niekerk (46.78) from South Africa.
It was a disappointing run for Kenyans Lucy Omondi and national champion Linda Oseso in women’s hammer throw final. Omondi was placed eighth after her second round attempt of 51.44m while Oseso, who finished 11th at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games with 58.82, struggled to return 48.06m to miss out on the final.
French based Laetitia Bambara of Burkina Faso earned her first career gold with her final throw of 65.44 dethroning Senegalese Amy Sene who settled for silver in 64.46.
Courtesy of nation.co.ke