How Kenya shone at Youth Athletics Championship in Abidjan


How Kenya shone at Youth Athletics Championship in Abidjan
Edward Zakayo from Kenya celebrate winning 3000m boys race during their WU18 championship at Kasarani stadium,Nairobi in July 13,2017.Zakayo finished in the first position with time of 2.51. Photo/Oliver Ananda/Sportpicha

In Summary

  • Kenyan athletes dominated the proceedings at the just concluded Africa Youth Athletics Championships which came to a close Saturday in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
  • In the five-day championships, two events ran concurrently – the Under 20 and the Under-18s.
  • Kenya wrapped the proceedings bagging 45 medals (19 gold, 16 silver, and 10 bronze), in both categories.

Kenyan athletes dominated the proceedings at the just concluded Africa Youth Athletics Championships which came to a close Saturday in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

In the five-day championships, two events ran concurrently – the Under 20 and the Under-18s.

Kenya wrapped the proceedings bagging 45 medals (19 gold, 16 silver, and 10 bronze), in both categories.

In the Under-18 category, Kenya finished with 17 medals; six gold, an equal number of silver, and five bronze, behind South Africa’s 32 medals; 18 gold, 7 silver and 7 bronze.

In the Under-20 category, Kenya topped the medal standings with a total of 28 medals (13 gold, 10 silver and 5 bronze), with South Africa coming in second with 25 medals.

World U-20 5,000m champion Edward Zakayo, World U-18 2000m steeplechase champion Leonard Bett, and the World U-20 5,000mchampion Beatrice Chebet, are among the athletes who bagged gold medals in the final day of the championship.

It was a clean sweep for Kenya in the Under-20 5,000m as Zakayo clocked 13:13.06 leading compatriots Jacob Kiprop (13:14.44) and Ruben Pogisho (13:43.46) to silver and bronze respectively.

In the corresponding women’s race, Chebet, the junior women cross country champion bagged gold in 16:02.66, with another Kenyan Dolphine Omare settling for silver in 16:07.42.

Athletics - 2018 IAAF World U20 Championships – women's 5000 m run – Tampere, Finland – July 10, 2018. Beatrice Chebet of Kenya celebrates. Lehtikuva/Kalle Parkkinen via REUTERS

In the 3,000m steeplechase, Bett bagged gold in 8:25.60 with Brian Kipkoech also claiming silver in 8:35.53.

Other gold medallists in the U-20 category include Kipngetich Ngeno (800m), Samson Dingiti (10,000m walk race), Bravin Kiptoo (10,000m), George Manangoi (1,500m), Jackline Wambui (800m), Fancy Cherono (3,000m steeplechase), Mary Moraa (400m), Ita Nao Leshan (Javelin) as well as the 4x400m men relay team.

The gold medallists in the Under-18 category are Collins Kipkorir (triple -jump), Emmanuel Korir (3,000m steeplechase), Linda Kageha (400m), 1,500m (Vincent Keter) and Zena Jemutai (3,000m steeplechase).

Sports Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Amina Mohammed is among the top government officials who accompanied the team to Ivory Coast.

The team is expected back to the country on Tuesday.

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Story By Gilbert Kiprotich
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