Gathimba bags Kenya its first medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games


Africa Race walking queen, Grace Wanjiru and king, Samuel Gathimba after sealing the Kenyan double ...
Africa Race walking queen, Grace Wanjiru and king, Samuel Gathimba after sealing the Kenyan double in Durban. PHOTO/Courtesy

African champion Samuel Gathimba won Kenya her first medal in the ongoing Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia bagging bronze  in the men’s 20 kilometres walking race.

“I feel like I have touched God after winning my first international medal,” said Gathimba after the fete

Gathimba won Kenya her second international medal in the discipline after 18-year-old Dominic Samson Ndigiti made history at year’s IAAF World Under-18 World Championships where he took the boys’ 10,000m silver medal at the Moi international Sports Centre, Kasarani in Nairobi, Kenya.

Speaking to Citizen Digital, the excited Gathimba said that he felt motivated to pursue more international glory as he targets to defend his 2016 African title scheduled for August 1-5, in Asaba in the Delta-State of Nigeria, hoping to book a ticket to the IAAF World Cup slated for September 8-9 in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

“I feel very good though it was a very stiff competition. The pace was very fast but I kept up with the leading pack. This was my first Commonwealth Games and I’m happy with the results I have posted. I have tested myself and I now know where I stand internationally.

He went on: “I’m targeting to improve on my speed and hopefully lower my personal best (PB) in Nigeria. I Have been dreaming of an international podium finish and I thank God my dream came true,” said Gathimba.

Gathimba settled for third place after clocking one hour, 19 minutes and 51 seconds behind home favourite, Australia Bird Smith (1:19.34) and Tom Bosworth also of England (1:19.38) who took gold and silver respectively. Fellow Kenya Simon Wachira ranked 12 after stopping the timer at 1:26.33.

Meanwhile, the ladies had a tough day in the office as six- time Africa Championships title holder Grace Wanjiru Njue (1:42.23) and compatriot Lindah Waweru (1:53.41) ranked eighth and 12 behind home girl Jemima Montag.

Montag took the women’s 20km glory in 1:32.50,   ahead of Barber Alana of Newzeland who crossed the finish line in 1:34.18, followed closely by Bethan Davis of Wales (1:36.08).

National record

In the second final of the day, Kenya’s sole representative in the men’s hammer throw Dominic Abunda  set a new national record of 61.34m and also improved his personal best from 60.82 to rank 16.

“I’m happy with the results.  There is a first time for everything and mine was the national record and a personal best. I have learnt a lot and I hope to improve in the upcoming events,” said Abunda the national champion.

English man Nick Miller also set a national record of 80.26m to take top podium place as local Matty Denny took silver after setting a personal best of 74.88m while Mark Dry of Scotland took bronze after hitting the 73.12m.

 

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Story By Charity Wanja
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