Gaborone 2011 logo (© Organisers)
The third day of the 10th African Junior Championships in Gaborone, Botswana, confirmed what had already been seen during the first two days. This meet has been by far the best in the history of this competition in terms of level of results in middle and long distance running.
While most of the athletes competing in Gaborone this weekend are too old to compete at this year's IAAF World Youth Championships, Lille, France, 6-10 July, some talented youth athletes are expected to emerge.
On Saturday (14) there was only one final in the middle and long distances, but again the results were breathtaking. And it was another Kenyan 1-2 in the women’s 5000m race with Ethiopian runners occupying places three and four again. Kenya has put up a wonderful display in these Championships having now recorded a 1-2 in four distance events with only the win in junior women’s 3000m been captured by Ethiopia.
Today it was time for another competition record when Caroline Chepkoech crushed the previous mark by 26 seconds to finish first in 15:24.66 personal best to capture her second African Junior title this season; she also won the African Cross Country Championships junior race earlier this season. Fellow Kenyan Janet Kisa only lost the gold in the final sprint getting the silver medal in a 15:24.75 PB. Kisa won the National Junior Cross Country title in March. Bronze went to the silver medallist from the World Cross Country Champs junior race, Ethiopia’s Genet Ayalew in a season’s best 15:27.96. Also from Ethiopia, Emebet Anteneh, the silver medallist from the 3000m at the World Junior Championships in Moncton 2010, clocked 15:34.92 today.
Nigeria won the men’s 4x100m Relay in 40.98 with the women’s title going to South Africa in 46.11. South African Rocco van Rooyen took the men’s javelin title in fine 75.72m personal best - he was sixth last year in Moncton at the World Junior Championships. Mohammad Basan Mousaad won the women’s High Jump with a 1.81m clearance breaking both Egyptian senior and junior records. Countrywoman Rana Ahmad Taha retained her African Junior title from 2009 winning with a 59.94m throw in the Hammer Throw.
Competition will conclude on Sunday (15), at the UB Stadium with plenty of interesting events. The men’s 800m and 5000m finals accompanied by women’s 1500m and 3000m Steeplechase will most probably be in the spotlight during the final day of competition.
Mirko Jalava for the IAAF