Uganda outshines Kenya in athletics at East Africa School Games


Uganda outshines Kenya in athletics at East Africa School Games
The 2017 East African Secondary School Games champion Michael Kibet (in red bib) leads the boys' 1500m field at the Ubworoherane Stadium in Musanze, Rwanda. (PHOTO/Matthews Mutai/Citizen)

In Summary

  • Uganda upstaged Kenya on opening day of athletics events at the East African Games in Musanze, Rwanda as they shot to top the medal charts on Wednesday.
  • Ugandans won a total 19 medals; nine gold, six silver and three bronze to lead the standings on 120 points with Kenya’s 18 medals – three gold six silver and nine bronze – putting them second with 110 points.

Uganda upstaged Kenya on opening day of athletics events at the East African Games in Musanze, Rwanda as they shot to top the medal charts on Wednesday.

Ugandans won a total 19 medals; nine gold, six silver and three bronze to lead the standings on 120 points with Kenya’s 18 medals – three gold six silver and nine bronze – putting them second with 110 points.

Hosts Rwanda crashed the golden party with a rare win in the boys’ 1,500m with its only other medal – silver in the girls’ high jump – leaving them a distant third on 45 points.

In what was the last event of the day, Rwanda’s Yves Nimubona brought the home fans sheer delight when he dethroned Michael Kibet as the new 1,500m champion after a devastating final kick at the final bend.

His winning time of 3:49.0 was only two seconds away from the Games record set by Kibet during last year’s edition in Gulu, Uganda.

Ugandan Kevin Kiprotich clocked 3:51.5 for second with Kibet rounding off the podium places in 3:53.51 after leading the field through the opening 1,200m.

“I came here expecting gold because last year I won in Gulu but it was a difficult race today. Despite all this I thank God because he gave me strength to finish third. Tomorrow I run again in the 5,000m and hopefully I can atone for this.

“The track wasn’t so good to me because it had a lot of murram on it and I’m used to running on a tartan pitch. I feel good for myself and my performance but for Team Kenya I feel it’s not fair because I know they were expecting gold from me,” Kibet told Citizen Digital.

Uganda’s Francine Niyomukunzi claimed the corresponding girls’ race in a crushing win, clocking 4:27.2 ahead of Rwanda’s Alice Ishimwe (4:34.8) and Viola Chemutai of Kenya who settled for third in 4:53:8.

Imeta Samuel from Bungoma gave Kenya its first gold medal when he led his compatriot to a tight 1-2 in the boys’ 100m, clocking 10.7 with Babu Meshack crossing the finish line just two micro-seconds later. Emmanuel Aboda of Uganda timed 11.1 for third.

Vincent Kilel delivered the second gold in the boys’ long jump after a winning 7.09m performance with Ugandans Moses Komakech and Denish Odongo finishing second and third after jumping 7.00m and 6.92m respectively.

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Story By Matthews Mutai
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