5000m win for Kipketer
Peter Njenga for the IAAF
25 April 2002, Nairobi – Kenya’s Sammy Kipketer was in his element once again less than a month after breaking the World 10km road best as he led his two other compatriots to victory in the 5,000 metres final of the First Africa Military Games here on Wednesday.
Kipketer who was wildly cheered by an estimated 15,000 spectators at a sports centre in the outskirts of the capital Nairobi, took the lead at the bell from second placed David Kiplak and Girma Assefa of Ethiopia who had controlled the pace mid way to clock a win in 13 minutes 4.4 seconds.
Kiplak (13:43.6) and John Kosgei (13:55.0) sprinted down the home stretch away from the fast fading Assefa who is a younger brother of Olympics 10,000 metres bronze medallist Assefa Mezghebu.
"I was rather worried of Assefa that is why I took the lead early because I knew I could hold on to it until the end.," said smiling Kipketer. “We always want to win at home and I am happy we won all the medals," said Kipketer after the race which took place a under clear azure blue sky.
Kenyans have so far won five gold medals, three silver and two bronze here.
Remmy Limo, winner of the long jump gold on Tuesday, went for a double and took silver in the triple jump which is his specialist event having trained at the IAAF High Performance Centre in Dakar, Senegal in 1999. He was beaten to the gold by Sanon Olivier of Burkina Faso (16.74 metres).
Olympic 1,500m champion Noah Ngeny continued to steal the limelight. Since qualifying the finals of the 1,500m which have been pushed back to Friday. He easily won the 800m in a slowish 1:48.8. "When they pushed the 1500m final to Friday I asked and was granted permission to compete in the 800m."I am certainly going for a double gold although I have a lot of respect for Abdelkader Hachilat," said Ngeny who has an extra onus as the overall team captain.
In the women’s events the experienced Naomi Mugo easily won the 1,500m gold ahead of national 2,000 metres steeplechase champion Irene Limika in 4:19.0. But with a quota of only eight Kenyan women, little is expected from them particuarly because former 10,000m World champion Sally Barsosio is on maternity leave.
Finally Kenya has finally discovered a new male javelin thrower, Peter Saina threw 71.84 metres, a mark, which has eluded many Kenyans for the last 10 years in every level of competition.
Thursday is rest day and action resumes Friday.
110m hurdles. 1. Daniel Kosgei (Kenya) 14.5;
400m hurdles: 1. Vincent Mumo (Kenya) 51.6;
5000m: 1. Sammy Kipketer (Kenya) 13:40.4; 2. David Kiplak (Kenya) 13:43.6; 3. John Koskei (Kenya) 13:55.0; 4. Girma Assefa (Ethiopia) 14:06.2
Triple jump: 1. Sanon Olivier (Bukina Faso) 16.74; 2. Remmy Limo (Kenya) 16.14;
Javelin: 1. Peter Saina (Kenya) 71.84; 2. Dero Tola (Ethiopia) 63.85;
1,500m: 1. Naomi Mugo (Kenya) 4:19.0; 2. Irene Limika (Kenya) 4:20.0; 3. Anna Ndege (Tanzania) 4:20.2;