, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 30 – Three gold medals in an hour propelled Kenya to the top of the medal standings in an afternoon of high drama at the Nyayo National Stadium on Friday.
David Rudisha, Richard Mateelong and Nancy Jebet Langat led the charge clinching gold while Alfred Kirwa grabbed silver and there was bronze for Jackson Kivuva.
Rudisha started the gold rush leading Kenya to a 1-2-3 finish in the men’s 800 metres. The reigning African champion had the crowd on its feet as he effortlessly clocked 1:42.84 smashing the previous championships record which had set in Addus ababa two years ago.
“Yesterday (Thursday) I was feeling great and I knew I was going to run a fast time because I ran at a relaxed pace and today the pace was even so I’m really happy,” said Rudisha.
Former world champion Kirwa came in second in 1:44.85 while Kivuva improved on a fifth place showing in Addis two years ago with bronze in a time of 1:45.47.
The race was quickly followed by Kenya’s blue riband race -the men’s 3,000 metres steeplechase and capacity crowd was not disappointed as Mateelong successfully retained the African crown. The Police instructor from Kiganjo took charge with two laps to go powering home in 8:26.13.
“I am very happy to retain my title. At first the pressure was on because we were running at home but I thank God we made it,” said Mateelong.
Reigning world champion Ezekiel Kemboi grabbed silver with Ethiopia’s Gary Roba spoiling the party by snatching bronze in 8:27.15.
2004 African champion and reigning Olympic champion Nancy Jebet Langat regained the continental crown in style winning in 4:10.43 rounding off a fantastic afternoon.