Kenya collected a total of 46 medals from the two championships; 19 gold, 16 silver and 11 bronze winning the Under-20 category and finishing second behind South Africa in Under-18 as the Africa Championships ended Saturday night at Félix Houphouët-Boigny Stadium’, Abidjan, Cote d’Ívoire.
The country not only topped the medal standings in the Under-20 Championships, but also in men and women with 27 medals; 13 gold, nine silver and five bronze.
Kenya beat South Africa to second with 25 medals; nine gold, 13 silver and three bronze. Nigeria were second in Under-20 with 17 medals; seven gold, once silver and nine bronze followed by Ethiopia with 26 medals; six gold, eight silver and 12 bronze.
However, South Africa got to top the medal standings in Under-18 and also in both boys’ and girls’ with a haul 32 medals, 18 gold, seven silver and seven bronze.
Kenya emerged second with 17 medals; six gold, six silver and five bronze followed by Nigeria with 14 medals five gold, four silver and five bronze.
World Under-20 5,000m champion Edward Zakayo and World Under-18 race walk bronze medallist Dominic Ndigiti wrapped up the Africa Unbder-20 and Under-18 athletics championships in style for Kenya with victories.
Also sweeping to victories were World Under-20 5,000m champion Beatrice Chebet, World Under-18 800m champion Jackline Wambui and World Under-20 3,000m steeplechase silver medallist Leonard Bett.
Then the icing on the cake perhaps were the rare victories by Collins Kipkorir, who went for boys’ Under-18 triple jump top honours medal with Ita Nao going for men’s Under-20 javelin glory.
What with Kipng’etich Ngéno snatching the men’s Under-20 800m victory on the final day that Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed also witnessed Kenya’s team of Allan Kipyego, George Manangoi, David Sanayek and James Mucheru being crowned men’s Under-20 4x400m relay kings.
Zakayo, who is also the 2017 World Under-18 5,000m silver medallist, clocked 13 minutes and 13.06 seconds to claim victory in men’s 5,000 m of the Under-20 category.
Zakayo led compatriot Jacob Rop and Rueben Pogisho to sweep all the podium places in 13:14.44 and 13:43.46 respectively.
Chebet, who was fresh from winning the World Cross Country women’s Under-20 title in Aarhus, Denmark, cracked 16:02.6 for women’s 5,000m glory, beating compatriot Dolvin Omare to silver medal in 16:04.7.
Ndigiti, who finished seventh in 10,000m race walk at the 2018 World Under-20 Championships, glided to victory in 43:27.33 in men’s Under-20 10,000m race walk.
Wambui executed her tactics well to claim women’s Under-20 800m gold in 2:04:05 as compatriot Lydia Jeruto went for bronze in 2:07.8 in what was a replica of the 2017 Nairobi World Under-18.
Ng’eno went for men’s top honours in 800m of the Under-20 category, clocking1:45.25 and in the process guided fellow countryman Joseph Rotiken to a 1-2 feat. Rotiken timed 1:46.3.
It was also a 1-2 finish for Kenya in men’s 3,000m steeplechase with Bett, who is fresh from finishing fourth in Under-20 at the World Cross Country, winning in 8:25.6 with Brian Kipkosgei settling for silver in 8:37.7.
Nao hauled 75.26m to win men’s Under-20 javelin title while Kipkorir’s sixth and final jump of 14.82m delivered victory in boys’Under-18 triple jump, beating Hire Omamutuyou from Burundi in 14:77 as South Africa Jason Tito claimed bronze in 14:57.