• Ferdinand Omanyala gets a medal to match his speed in Mauritius

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    Justin Lagat

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    W1500m .jpeg

    The Women's 1,500m: Winnie Chebet, KEN, takes gold, Purity Chepkirui, KEN, takes silver and Degnachew Asegu, ETH, takes the bronze, photo by Deji Ogeyingbo for RunBlogRun, 2022 African Athletics Championships, June 9, 2022

    Justin Lagat wrote this piece on day 2 of the 2022 African Athletics Championships. He focused on the finals of the day, from Ferdinand Omanyala and Gina Bass, to the women's 1,500m and women's 5000 meters.


    In a close finish with the defending champion, Akani Simbine; Kenya's Ferdinand Omanyala -the fastest sprinter in Africa - edged the South African by one of the smallest margins ever recorded in a photo finish in the men's 100m race to emerge victorious as both registered a time of 9.93, which is a new Championship record.

    For some time, after running the fastest time by an African of 9.77 in the 100m, Omanyala had been yearning to have a title. Today, on the second day of the African Athletics Championships in Mauritius, he became an African champion.

    This was the most successful day for Kenya so far at the continental event. By the end of the day at the championships, Kenya had already backed 3 gold medals; Omanyala's (100m), Winnie Chebet's (1500m), and Beatrice Chebet's (5000m).

    Chebet led her compatriot to a 1-2 Kenyan finish in the women's 1500m race as she won it in 4:16.10 with 19-year-old World U20 Champion Purity Chepkirui taking the silver medal in 4:16.28 behind her. Ethiopia's Degnachew Asegu won the bronze medal in 4:16.45.

    Just like in the women's 1500m race, the 5000m race also saw another rivalry between Ethiopia and Kenya as runners from the two countries took the first four positions.

    World U20 cross country and 5000m Champion Beatrice Chebet won the race in 15:00.82. Ethiopia's Belayneh Azale ran 15:01.89 to settle for the silver medal, while the Bronze medal went to Kenya's Caroline Nyaga, who crossed the finish line in 15:05.34.

    In what promises to be another bumper harvest of medals for Kenya in the remaining days, both Kenyans in the men's 800m, Elias Ngeny, and Nicholas Kiplagat, proceeded to the finals.

    Veronica Mutua also proceeded to the finals in the women's 400m.
     
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