Gold rush! Kenyan stars sparkle in Rabat

Gold rush! Kenyan stars sparkle in Rabat

Gilbert Kiprotich in Rabat, Morocco

Kenya enjoyed a golden evening at the African Games as its athletes bagged five gold medals on final day of track and field events on Friday.

Vanice Kerubo won Kenya an unlikely gold in the women’s 400m hurdles clocking 56.95 to stun home girl Lamia Lhabz who took silver in 56.97.

Few minutes later, Kenya swept the podium in the men’s 5000m with Robert Kiprop, World Under-20 champion Edward Zakayo and Richard Kimunyan Yator clinching gold, silver and bronze respectively.

Kiprop crossed the finish line in 13:30.96 with Zakayo coming home in 13:31.30 while Yator timed 13:31.41 as the trio managed to silence perennial rivals Ethiopia.

Being his maiden win at the continental championships, the little-known Kiprop who hails from Elgeyo Marakwet County said his focus now shifts to World Championships trials set for September 12-13.

“It is a great feeling winning a gold medal. I had prepared well at home and I am happy that we have won the three medals together with my colleagues,” Kiprop said.

Qualyne Kiprop would later add another gold in the women’s 1500m leading compatriot Mary Kuria to a silver medal.

The athlete based at Torongo Athletics Club in Baringo County said they were wary of Ethiopians who kept close tabs on them all through to the tape.

“I am happy to have won my first gold in my debut for the national it is an achievement I am proud of,” said Kiprop.

As if it were not enough, World Under-20 1500m champion George Manangoi notched another gold medal in the men’s 1500m after clocking 3:38.27 with another Kenyan Charles Simotwo clinching bronze after coming home third in 3:38.51.

“Winning this gold today has officially kickstarted my journey at the senior category. I hope tp do even well at the World Championships trials,” he said.

Olympic javelin silver medalist Julius Yego also won gold in the men’s javelin after managing a throw of 87.73m as his compatriot Alexander Kiprotich settled for silver with 77.50m throw.

Two-time African High jump champion Mathew Sawe settled for silver after managing a 2.15m jump behind South Africa’s Mpho Links who managed 2.20m jump.



All African Games

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