Julius Yego makes history at African Championships but falls short of Olympics standard

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Julius Yego, the 2015 World Champion, led the charge by winning his fifth African javelin title with a throw of 80.24 metres, solidifying his status as the continent’s javelin king.

Kenya’s athletes displayed unparalleled prowess, successfully defending their title as the Athletics Kings of Africa.

The team had previously won the overall title in 2022 in Mauritius, and this year, they did not disappoint. With 10 gold, 5 silver, and 8 bronze medals, the Kenyan contingent once again topped the medal table.

Nigerian javelin thrower Chinecherem Nnamdi secured the silver medal, marking the best performance by a Nigerian in this event since Samuel Kure’s bronze at the Asaba 2018 edition. Another Kenyan, Samuel Kure, finished fifth with a throw of 69.26 metres, contributing to Kenya’s impressive overall performance.

The men’s 4x400m relay team, comprising David Sanayiek, Kelvin Kipkorir, Zablon Ekwam, and Boniface Mweresa, took home the silver medal, finishing just behind Botswana. Zambia claimed the bronze, rounding out a fiercely competitive race.

In the women’s 1500m final, Caroline Nyaga delivered a strong finish to secure the silver medal, adding to Kenya’s impressive medal tally. The men’s 1500m final saw Brian Komen and Boaz Kiprugut take gold and bronze, respectively, demonstrating Kenya’s continued dominance in middle-distance events.

Leah Jeruto braved the rain to win bronze in the women’s 3000m steeplechase with a time of 9:36.33. Uganda’s Loise Chepkemoi clinched gold, while Ethiopia’s Alemnat Wale took silver, highlighting the strong competition from East African neighbours.

Kenya’s women shone in the 800m, with Sarah Moraa taking gold and Lilian Odira securing silver. The 10,000m race saw Ethiopia dominate, with Nibret Melak and Gemechu Dida taking gold and silver, respectively. Roncer Kipkorir Konga finished third, with Joseph Kiptum and Francis Abong completing the top five.

Edwin Too made history by winning bronze in the men’s decathlon, earning Kenya its first medal in the event in 42 years. Too’s performance was nothing short of spectacular, as he broke the national decathlon record that had stood since the 1978 Brisbane Commonwealth Games. His total of 7132 points included wins in the discus (37.82m) and long jump (7.39m), a second-place finish in the 400m (47.99), and third-place finishes in the 100m (10.98) and javelin (49.08).

This historic achievement follows Too’s silver medal at the African Games earlier this year, where he broke the previous national record with a total of 7140 points. His consistent excellence has cemented his place in Kenya’s athletic history.

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