, NAIROBI, Augt 1 – Kenya\’s Grace Wanjiru set a new African 20-kilometre walk record here on Sunday to successfully defend her title on the fifth and last day of the African Athletics championships.
Wanjiru completed the race in 1hr 34mins 19secs, clipping over four minutes off her old mark set set in Addis Ababa in 2008.
Tunisian and Arab games champion, Chaima Trabelsi (1:35:33) also finished under the old record in taking the silver with Aynalem Eshetu of Ethiopia winning the bronze in 1:41:46.
The Kenyan, who took a year off to have a baby in 2009, and just returned to training earlier this year, said she didn\’t think it could happen.
"I am surprised to have won this race," she said. "Having had a full year away from training, I didn\’t think I would be in the right shape to be competitive at all. It feels great."
Tunisian champion Hassanine Sebei won men\’s gold in a personal best time 1:20:36, pipping former African champion David Kimutai of Kenya who finished second in 1:22:07. Algeria\’s Hichem Medjeber took the bronze in his best performance of 1:22:53.