• Kenyans reign supreme on Delhi Tracks

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Oct 09, 2010-

Kenyans showed their mettle at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, on Saturday evening picking two straight Gold medals in barely 10 minutes with Milcah Chemos leading a Kenyan sweep in the women’s 3000m steeplechase and moments later Mark Mutai won the 400m.

“Jambo… Jambo Bwana…. Habari gani?Mzuri Sana!” aptly blasted from the JNS Stadium speakers to celebrate Kenya’s moment of glory at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

Mutai made up for a slow start off the blocks with a storming finish to win his first ever competition medal in 45.44,16 years after Charles Gitonga’s win at the 1994 Victoria games in Canada.
Mutai, who lost the Bronze at the 2010 African Championships in Nairobi swiftly moved from the back of the pack at the halfway mark and upped his pace and dipped his head at the finish line ahead of Australian Sean Wroe who clocked 45.46 and Ramon Miller of Bahamas took the Bronze in 45.55 his season best.

“I can’t believe this! It's a dream come true," said Mutai who failed to go past the first round at the world championships in Berlin.

“I had planned to go slow at the start but I over delayed so I had to work extra hard to catch up. I didn’t expect a gold medal, I was hoping for a medal but not this.”

Mutai will be back on track on Monday eager to anchor the 4 x400m to the final.

“It’s a new start for me and my eyes are all set for the relay.”

World Bronze medalist Chemos wound up a rather busy season in style leading a Kenyan 1-2-3 in the event and winning the first ever women’s steeplechase medal at the ‘club’ Games.

The Kenyan trio broke off from the rest of the field in the fourth lap opening a huge gap. The African champion powered away from Mercy Njoroge in the home stretch for a 9:40.96. Njoroge won the silver (9:41.54 while Gladys Kipkemoi recovered from a stumble at the water jump in the final lap to clinch bronze (9:52.51).

“Initially we went faster but the heat became too much so we slowed down and I also didn’t feel so well in the last stretch, I developed a stitch but I struggled and finished,” she said.

Earlier, African Champion Grace Wanjiru picked the bronze medal in the 20km walk in 1:37.49, about three minutes behind the winner British Jo Jackson who led from start to finish clocking 1:34.22. Australian Claire Tallent won the silver in 1:36.55.

In the women’s shot put Kenyan Priscilla Isiao threw a personal best of 13.91m to finish seventh which was however way off New Zealand’s Valerie Adams winning mark of 2047 a Games record. Tera Kiplangat also placed seventh in the men’s long jump (7.63m) won by Australian Fabrice Lapierre.

Boaz Lalang’(1:46.41), Richard Kiplagat(1:46.73) and Abraham Kiplagat (1:47.09)all sailed through to Sunday’s 800m final.

Sprinters Kipkemoi Soi in the 200m and Mercy Maiyo and Florence Wasike in the 400m Hurdles women will be in action in Sundays final after qualifying as the fastest losers from their qualifying rounds.

Evelyn Watta

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1 Australia 74 54 48 176
2 England 37 59 45 141
3 India 37 27 35 99
3 Canada 26 17 32 75
4 South Africa 12 11 10 33
5 Kenya 12 11 9 32
6 Malaysia 12 9 13 34
7 Nigeria 11 10 14 35
8 Singapore 10 10 9 29
9 Scotland 9 10 7 26
10 New Zealand 5 22 8 35
11 Cyprus 4 3 5 12
12 Northern Ireland 3 3 4 10
13 Samoa 3   1 4
14 Wales 2 7 10 19
15 Jamaica 2 4 1 7
16 Pakistan 2 1 2 5
17 Uganda 2     2
18 Bahamas 1 1 3 5
19 Sri Lanka 1 1 1 3
20 Nauru 1 1   2
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