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Kiptoo strikes second gold in Addis Ababa

GILBERT-KWEMOINAIROBI, Kenya, March 6 – Anthony Kiptoo won Kenya’s second gold as Olympic Youth Games champion Gilbert Kwemoi, Alexander Sampao and Davis Kiplongat bagged silver at day two of the ongoing 12th Africa Junior Athletics Championships in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Friday.

Kiptoo’s men 1500m win comes a day after Abraham Kibiwott brought home the first gold in the men’s 3000m steeplechase, trouncing rivals Ethiopians at their home.

Kiptoo who made a sensational switch from 800m stunned Kwemoi but could not break his Personal Best (3:42.7) he set in Nairobi during the national trials after crossing the line first in 3:43.98.

Kwemoi who was tipped to win the race settled for silver in 3:44.59 ahead of Ethiopia’s Regasa Katema who took bronze in 3:44.92.

After finishing outside the medal bracket at last year’s Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China, Sampao 2013 World Youth bronze medallist bounced back to bag silver in the men’s 400m in 46.54 behind Botswana’s Karabo Sibanda who won gold in 46.33.

Rilwan Fasasi from Nigeria clinched bronze in 46.84.

Kiplongat wrapped up the country’s fourth medal of the day after grabbing silver in the men’s 10,000m in 29:59.32, two seconds behind winner Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda.

Host’s Gurmessa Fekansa managed to settle for bronze after clocking 30:02.38, two minutes ahead of Edwin Kiprotich of Kenya who finished fifth.

In the women’s 800m final, Kenya was out staged by the hosts who took the first two places with Chaltu Regasa claiming gold in 2:09.20 as compatriot Kore Nagaho crossed the line second to win silver 40 seconds later.

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Kenya’s Betty Chepkoech finished fourth (2:14.66) behind Uganda’s Susan Aneno who took bronze (2:11.73) followed by compatriot Eglay Nafuma. There was disappointing results in the men’s 400m hurdles with Stephen Kipkoech settling for sixth as Harona Kibet was disqualified.

On Thursday, Kibiwott continued the country’s steeplechase dominance when he floored Ethiopians; Sebisibe Sidamo (8:51.57) and Amare Hailmaram (9:01.58) who finished in second and third when the Kenyan clocked 8:47.43 to open the country’s medal account.

Vincent Kipyegon could not match compatriot Kibiwott as he finished fourth in 9:10.26.

The hosts once again upstaged Kenyans in the women’s 3000m after claiming gold in front of a cheering home crowd. Ethiopian runners won the race in the last two editions in Botswana (2011) and Mauritius (2013).

Medisa Beriso clocked 9:31.37 to claim gold while Shuru Bulo Galchu (9:34.48) settled for silver.

Kenya’s Sandra Felis Chebet, who struggled to keep up with the Ethiopians, won bronze in 9.38.60.

Patrick Kiprotich and Jonan Kiprotich will carry the country’s flag in tomorrow’s men’s 800m while 3000m World Junior champion Valentina Mateiko will team up with Emily Chebet in the women’s 5000m final.

Kenya who sent a contingent of 28 athletes has so far collected six medals with two gold, three silver and one bronze to see them sit fifth on the log behind Nigeria who are at the top while South Africa and Ethiopia follow seconds and third respectively.

The team will be looking to better 2013 overall performance where they brought home 17 medals, four gold, nine silver and four bronze.

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The biannual continental championships opened to athletes below 19 years old.

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