African Games: Kenya bags three more medals but gold still elusive in Accra

Kenya's Amos Serem and Simon Kiprop join Ethiopia's Debisa Ferewa in celebrating their podium finish in the 3000m steeplechase at the African Games. Photo: African Games

African Games: Kenya bags three more medals but gold still elusive in Accra

Joel Omotto 10:30 - 19.03.2024

Kenya won three more medals at the ongoing African Games to take the country’s tally to nine but they are still searching for gold with hopes that athletics will save the day on Tuesday.

Kenya won three more medals at the ongoing African Games in Accra, Ghana following a silver and bronze in athletics while boxer Amina Martha guaranteed herself silverware by making it to the semi-final on Monday.

The country’s first athletics medals arrived in the form of silver and bronze in the men’s 3000m steeplechase after Amos Serem and Simon Kiprop finished second and third respectively in a race won by Ethiopian Debisa Firewa.

Firewa clocked 8:24.30 to claim gold with Serem timing 8:25.77 for silver while Kiprop bagged bronze after stopping the clock at 8:26.19.

There was no such luck in the women’s 5000m, however, as world 3000m steeplechase record holder Beatrice Chepkoech finished fourth with Ethiopians sweeping the podium.

Chepkoech headed to Accra to feature in the 5000m as a way of testing her endurance as she eyes a first Olympics medal in her specialty of 3000m steeplechase and she might have been pleased after clocking 15:13.71 even though she did not bag a medal.

Meanwhile, Amina Martha floored Botswana's Phekie Bele in the bantamweight quarter-finals to guarantee the country a first medal in boxing at the African Games on Monday.

Martha made it to the semi-final where she will take on Nigeria's southpaw Shurukat Kareem, who beat 2022 Africa champion Sarah Haghighat-Joo of Sierra Leone, and whether she triumphs or loses, she will walk home with silverware.

In Volleyball, Malkia Strikers kept alive their hopes of bagging gold by winning their third straight match following a 3-0 victory against DR Congo on Monday.

The African champions had thrashed Seychelles and Nigeria similarly by three straight sets but have a tough assignment against Algeria on Tuesday.

Elsewhere, July Musangi won a bronze medal in the women’s weight under 73 Kgs Taekwondo category. She lost to Omayma Boumin of Morocco in the semi-final after beating Luzia of Mozambique in the quarter-finals.

Kenya has now won nine medals at the African Games, one silver and eight bronze, with weightlifting bringing the lion’s share of five, while taekwondo has two.

The country will be looking to win its first gold on Tuesday when more medals are likely to arrive with the men’s 10000m final, where Peter Mwaniki and Evans Kiptum will represent Kenya, as well as the women’s 800m final and the men’s 4x100m relay final.

Tuesday’s programme also includes both men’s and women’s 400m semi-finals, men’s 800m semis, rugby sevens, where they are up against Benin, and men’s 3x3 basketball that will see them take on both Botswana and Algeria.

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