Kenya’s exploits in the on-going Africa Senior Athletics Championships in Durban were enhanced on the second day of the completion when the pair of Sheila Chepkirui and Margaret Chelimo captured two more medals.
The duo sent Kings Park Stadium in frenzy after an exhilarating 1-2 finish for Kenya in the women’s 5,000metres final that took place at 17.30hrs, bring the country’s medal tally to 3 (1 gold and 2 silver).
Chepkirui took the lead from the gun and charmed team mate Chelimo and the two controlled the race comfortably, shaking off the Ethiopian trio of Yami Dera Dida, Hayile Meskere Mamo and Gebremaedin Kida Alema with two laps remaining.
“We were prepared from the start. We had trained well for championship and the presence of our rivals (Ethiopia) did not worry us. This is an encouragement to our team,” said Chepkirui in a post-race interview.
The winner timed 15:05.45 while Chelimo, also the national championship runners-up, returned 15:07.56 for silver. Yami Dida received bronze after coming third in 15:15.26.
However, it was not a good day for Boaz Kiprugut, the solitary 800metres hope after the athlete was disqualified in the semis allegedly for stepping on the opponent’s lane before the 100m curve.
Wilfred Kimitei won the first medal for Kenya after placing second in the men’s 10,000 metres in the race won by Mokoka Stephen from the host nation.
In the sprints, Margaret Nyairera (400metres), Boniface Mucheru (400metres hurdles), Alfas Kishoyan (400m) and Aaron Koech sailed into the finals of their respective events.
There will be five finals which include the women 1,500m, 3,000m steeplechase, 400m flat, 400m hurdles and men’s 400metres hurdles on the third day of the championship.
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