NAIROBI, Kenya, March 8 – Patrick Kiprotich and Stella Jepkosgei produced sterling performances on the final day of the 12th Africa Junior Athletics Championships in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to crown Kenya’s charge with two gold medals as curtains came down on the event on Sunday.
Jonah Kipruto and Fredrick Kiptoo clinched silver whilst Ivee Chepkemoi and Daniel Kipkemoi bagged bronze to complete the country’s medal haul in the four-day continental age championships.
Abraham Kibiwott and Anthony Kiptoo brought home the other gold medals as Kenya failed to improve on her 2013 outing with 12 medals (4 gold, 5 silver and 3 bronze) against Ethiopia’s 28 (6 gold, 12 silver, 10 bronze) with the distance running traditional rivals placing third and sixth on overall standings.
Kiprotich improved from last year’s 8th World Youth Championships finish in the men’s 800m by clocking 1:50.21 to beat compatriot Kipruto while Ethiopian Temam Tura settled for bronze in 1:51.06.
Jepkosgei the 2012 World Junios bronze medallist did not disappoint in the women’s 3000m steeplechase after snatching the title from Ethiopians when she stopped the clock in 10:22.47 ahead of Zewdine Teklemariam (10:31.40).
Another Ethiopian Mihret Tefera took bronze in 10:37.25 to deny Kenyan Dorcas Kithome a podium finish after she crossed the line fourth in 10:45.67.
Iveen Chepkemoi women 1500m bronze in 4:26.19 with Ethiopia’s Dawit Biratu winning in 4:15.9, four seconds ahead of compatriot Besu Beko with Eva Cherono finishing just outside the medals (4:29.43).
Home runner Yomif Atomsa out-sprinted Kiptoo and Kipkemoi to take the men 5000m honours in 14: 31.03.
Kenya had a poor outing in the sprints with Maureen Nyatichi finishing sixth in the women’s 200m final (24.79) in a race that was dominated by Nigerian Praise Idamadudu (23.76) as Ethiopia’s Tegest Tamangnu won silver (23.84).
Bronze went to Nigerian Aniekeme Alphonsus who clocked 24.19.
“Most of these countries get their wins from the field events but the performance of Kenya on the track is fantastic. They did a good job,” Athletics Kenya president Isaiah Kiplagat told Capital Sport Sunday when he attended the First Lady’s Half Marathon.
The biannual continental event is open to athletes below 19 years old.