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Ndiwa leads Aprot to Kenyan 1-2 finish in Asaba

Stacy Ndiwa taking the African 10,000m title in Asaba (Bob Ramsak) © Copyright

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 4 – Commonwealth Games silver medallist Stacy Ndiwa powered through to win gold in the women’s 10,000m at the Africa Athletics Championships, leading compatriot Alice Aprot to a 1-2 Kenyan finish.

Ndiwa, who run behind Aprot in most part of the race, made the move at the bell, out-kicking the defending champion to cross the line in 31:30.98.

The win added the fifth medal for Kenya after bagging the women’s 5000m, women’s 1500m and the men’s 3000m steeplechase.

Given the high late afternoon heat and humidity, the performance was as impressive as it was dominating.

Such were the conditions that three of the 11 entrants dropped out well before the Kenyan pair forged on their own with eight laps to go. That was when teammate Pauline Koriakwang, bothered by a troublesome Achilles, stepped off the track, taking Kenya’s sweep ambitions with her.

Stacy Ndiwa drops to the track after winning the African 10,000 title in Asaba (Bob Ramsak) © Copyright

For the next seven laps, Ndiwa and Aprot were in lockstep, with the taller Aprot, racing in a black hat, pushing the pace.

But at the bell, Ndiwa bolted to the lead, one she extended down the backstretch before eventually reaching the finish in 31:31.17, a lifetime best for the 25-year-old. She immediately dropped flat on the track.

“We decided to work together so we could break away from the others, because we weren’t sure about their kick,” said the 25-year-old Ndiwa, who took silver at the Commonwealth Games in April. “I didn’t have a good kick there so I’ve been working a lot on my speed since then.” It paid off.

Aprot, the winner at these championships two years ago, clocked 31:36.12 to take silver. “I didn’t mind helping with the pace, even if I finished second,” the 2016 Olympian said.

Well back, Ethiopian Gete Alemayehu, 10th two years ago, took the bronze in 32:10.68.

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