Kenya at the weekend topped the final medals’ table of the African Athletics Championships in Asaba, Delta State, despite last ditch efforts by South Africa and Nigeria to usurp the leaders.
At the end of the events, though, Kenya won 11 gold, six silver and two bronze medals, while South Africa got nine gold, 13 silver and eight bronze, behind who Nigeria settled for third place with nine gold, five silver and five bronze medals.
On the final day, Ivorian star, Marie Josee Ta Lou completed her sprint double in 22.50 secondsin the women 200m, while Nigeria’s Praise Idamadudu was 8th with 23.79seconds.
However, Nigeria’s Onome Nathaniel Glory won the women 400m hurdles with a time of 55.53 seconds, GraceAbata got the women triple jump gold, the women 4x400m team completed the day with a good display to win the gold.
“Our team did quite well despite all the odds we faced. We didn’t have the best of preparations and we had to make do with the little resources we had,” said Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN) president, Ibrahim Gusau.
Morocco, Ethiopia, Coted I’voire, Tunisia, Botswana, Egypt and Burkina Faso finished fourth to tenth respectively; while Algeria will host the next African Athletics Championship in 2020.
To retain the title they won in Durban 2016. Kenya won 6 gold, 4 silver and 1 bronze on the last day and emerged overall winner of the 21st African Athletics Championship.
Afterwards, women 3,000m steeplechase and IAAF world record holder, Beatrice Chepkoechadmitted she was excited to win the event’s gold medal in Asaba.
Chepkoech, who broke the world record in Monaco last year, also said she still enjoyed her stay in Nigeria, despite the challenges she and her compatriots faced before the events began.
“I’m so grateful about today’s performance. We planned that the three Kenyans come out first second and third before we start running and we did,” Chepkoech concluded.