World Indoor 1,500m bronze medallist Abel Kipsang and Jarinter Mawia Sunday handed Kenya the men’s 1,500m and women’s 800m titles on the final day of the Africa Senior Athletics Championships in Reduit, Mauritius.
At the same time, national 100m and 200m champion, Maximilla Imali grabbed silver when she finished second in the women’s 200m final.
Kipsang, the national 1,500m champion, who was fresh from winning the 1,500m Diamond League races in Doha and Birmingham, rallied from behind to clock three minutes and 36.58 seconds to win.
The victory by Kipsang, who also won the 1,500m race the Kip Keino Classic, ensured that Kenya retained the title that Elijah Manang’oi won in 2018 in Asaba, Nigeria.
Mawia stepped on her gas pedal, digging from three places behind at 300m before overtaking charge at the home straight to reclaim the 800m title for Kenya.
Mawia, the national 800m champion, timed 2:02.80, beating Desta Gebre Netsanet from Ethiopia and South Africa’s Prudence Sekgodiso to second and third places in 2:02.99 and 2:03.46 respectively.
“The rainy and windy conditions impeded a good performance, but I am glad to reclaim the title for Kenya,” said Mawia.
Kenya’s Eunice Sum had been the last Kenyan to hold the title from the 2014 Games in Marrakech, Morccco
Imali gave a chase, but it wasn’t good enough as she settled second in 23.43 seconds, losing the battle to Seyni Aminatou from Niger in 23.04. Rhoda Njobvu settled for bronze in 23.51.
Wiseman Were clinched bronze for Kenya in the 400m hurdles, while Daniel Simiu won silver in the 5000m.