Kenya athletes emerge top in 21st African Athletics Championships

Kenya scooped 11 gold medals, 6 silver and 2 bronze in the just concluded African Athletics Championship games.

The team had however met logistic challenges when they arrived in Nigeria ahead of the games.
Their victory has since been warmly welcomed by Kenyans who perceive it as a source of unity and pride.
Kenya is adversely affected by doping scandals which are a ruining its track record in athletics.

As breaking news reports, Team Kenya trounced their chaotic start of the playoffs by raking top medals among them 1-2-3 finish in Women’s 3,000 meters steeplechase.
The victory comes with the backdrop of the athletes arriving and getting stranded at the airport in Lagos, Nigeria, thereafter making it to the hosting venue three hours to the kick-off as had reported on Wednesday, August 1.

Kenya bagged gold medals in the men’s walk, 3,000 meters women’s steeplechase, 1,500 meters men javelin and 5,000 meters men’s steeplechase.
“It was hot but we had decided that everyone in the team should pick a medal. I am glad we did it. My strategy was to simply go fast from the start and that’s what I did,” said Beatrice Chepkoech who won in the women’s 3,000 meters final.

Celliphine Chespol and Fancy Cherono were also at the helm of the women’s 3,000 meters category.
Two time world Under-20 Chespol won silver while Cherono pocketed a bronze which is her first medal for the country.
Edward Zakayo, who is World under-20 champion, showed sterling resilience and topped the 5,000 meters race.

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Samuel Gathimba came in second in the same race followed by South Africa’s Lebogang Shange who was followed by Kenyan Simon Wachira in the fourth position.
“It was tough race, but I had prepared well and had enough endurance to enable me win gold again. I trained in different climate back in Kenya, so I was confident of doing well here in Nigeria” said Gathimba.
In the 20 kilometers, walk race Grace Wanjiru (silver winner) was unlucky not to clinch victory in the seventh African title and she came behind Ethiopia’s Yehuliye Belew who bagged gold.

The victory also comes at a time when the country has been put on the spot over a worrying trend of doping among athletes.
An earlier report disclosed Lucy Wangui Kabuu became the second high profile runner in recent days to be suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) after testing positive for banned substances.

Bahrain’s Olympic steeplechase champion and world record holder Ruth Jebet was also suspended for similar claims.
Kenya’s former Olympic and three-time world 1,500 meters champion Asbel Kiprop is also among sports persons adversely affected by doping allegations.

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