Kenyans soar at Africa Youth Athletics

By evelyn watta
Mar 30, 2013
  • The 2000m Steeplechase.(Photo:Africa Athletics)

World Junior champion Dasiy Jepkemei, Robert Biwott (1500m) and Edwin Koskei Meli (2000m steeplechase) secured Kenya’s gold medals in contrasting styles at the ongoing Africa Youth Athletics Championships in Warri, Nigeria.

Jepkemei  led  a Kenyan 1,2 finish in the girls 2000m steeplechase. in 6.24:52 seconds to win the gold while her compatriot, Ruto Stella,who picked the bronze medal in Barcelona moved a step up to silver at this continental championships.

She ran 6.30:64 seconds to relegate Ethiopia’s Abera Bitew (6.42:18) to the bronze medal position.

Biwott clocked 3:41.96 to win Kenya its second gold medal at the event. Ethiopian Tebikew Yenew Akalat crossed the line in 3:43.84 for second as Eritrean Tesfamariam Tsegay Abraham’s 3:44.29 run earned him the bronze.

“This was a fantastic race. I started off cautiously to seize up the field. With two laps to go I made my move. I was comfortable throughout the race. Now I am sure of improving my time at the World Youth Championships,” Biwott explained.

Meli’s winning time of 5:42.18 earned him the gold in the steeplechase race against a strong challenge from his Ethiopian peers.

“It was a tough race. I had to be careful at the water jump not to lose my balance. Towards the end I felt them spiking my running shoes. Look they completely ripped off my spikes,” Meli said showing his running spikes which will have to be replaced.

Meli (5:42.18) piped Ethiopian Kahsay Meresa Hailu (5:42.20) just on the line to claim victory as Kiros Halemariyam Kebede settled for bronze in 5:45.50.

Nigerians rule sprints 

Ethiopians Zeyituna Mohammed Aliyi (2:05.05) and Duret Edau Olti (2:06.04) claimed gold and silver in the girls 800m with Jarinter Mawia of Kenya (2:09.79) and compatriot Eva Cherono(2:13.47) finishing fourth and fifth respectively.

Nigerians dominated the sprints sweeping the medals in the 100m. Divine Ejowvokoghene Oduduru won the boys dash in 10.62 with Abebe Amanuel Atsibeha of Ethiopia taking silver in 10.86. Deborah Adewunmi Adewale won the girls in 11.87.

Kenya now lies third with four gold, two silver behind leaders Egypt with Seven gold and Nigeria in second with five. 

Additional reporting Africa Athletics