The hosts fielded a strong team based largely on their squad from this summer’s World Junior Championships in Beijing, and that led to their domination of the Association of National Olympic Committees for Africa Zone Five Junior Championships, which took place over two days at the Nyayo National Stadium, Nairobi (2 to 3 Dec).
Kenya emerged first with nine 9 gold, 7 silver, 1 bronze; followed by Ethiopia (5-2-8); Egypt (1-3-2), Uganda ( 1-3-2) and Eritrea (1-2-2).
The most exciting race of the nine nations meeting was the 1500 metres when Geoffrey Rono of Kenya, fourth in Beijing, out-kicked compatriot and World Junior champion Remmy Limo to earn his measure of revenge.
"In Beijing the coaches asked me to assist Limo but today I wanted to see who is the better runner," said Rono who posted 3 minutes 41.1 seconds. Limo in a close second clocked 3:41.4.
The surprise runner of the day against the strong Kenyans was Mekonnen Grebre-Medhin of Ethiopia, seventh at the 800m semi-final in Beijing, but bronze medallist yesterday in 3:41.5 as well as in the 800m.
Jackson Kivuva of Kenya, silver medallist in Beijing at the 800m, earned a double by winning the 800m as well as anchoring the Kenyans to a 4x400m gold.
Joseph Ebuya of Kenya, the Beijing silver and bronze medal winner in the 10,000/5000m, was chased to victory by the hard charging Benjamin Kiplagat of Uganda, seventh in the Steeplechase in Beijing, as he won the 5000m in 13:41.4. The Uganda junior clocked 13;43.0.
Wacera best of Kenyans
In absence of her better known compatriots, Kenyan Mary Wacera Ngugi, bronze medallist in Beijing at the 5000m, fought off a major offensive from two Ethiopians Koren Jeleza Yal and Aseleret Asafa winning the women's 3000m in 9:16.00. Zalila clocked 9:16.8 and Asafa 9:21.2, with another Kenyan Chebich Yastor coming in fourth in 9:26.0.
Betelhem Shewatatek Haile of Ethiopia was one of the most durable athletes of the two days. After winning the 200m in 25.7, she added a bronze in the 100m and anchored Ethiopian girls to 4x100m relays.
Eritrea's Zaret Weldu won the women's 400m in 56.05 ahead of Kenyans Biarose Chepkoech (56.76) and former Africa Junior 800m champion Lydia Wafula (57.76).
The meeting brought together athletes from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Rwanda, Burundi and Egypt.
Peter Njenga for the IAAF
ANOCA Zone Five Athletics Championships, Nairobi, 2 -3 December 2006
1: Wotere Gabiso, Ethiopia, 10.74
2: Mohamed Abdel Wahed, Egypt, 10.91
3: Ali Ngaimoko, Uganda, 11.01
2: Wotere Gabiso, ETH, 21.5
2: John Wambua, KEN , 21.9
3: Mohamed Abdel Wahed, EGY, 22.2
1: Silvester Kirwa, KEN, 46.87
2: Julius Kirwa, KEN, 47.18
3: Zemenu Simane, ETH, 47.54
1: Jackson Kivuva, KEN, 1:48.4
2: Adar Jimmy, UGA, 1:49.2
3: Mekonnen Gebre-Medhin, ETH, 1:49.7
1: Geoffrey Rono, KEN, 3:41.1
2: Remmy Limo, KEN, 3:41.4
3: Mekonnen Gebre-Medhin, ETH, 3:41.5
1: Joseph Ebuya, KEN, 13:41.4
2: Benjamin Kiplagat, UGA, 13:43.0
3: Habtamu Awash, ETH, 13:43.3
1: Ethiopia, 41.6
2: Uganda, 43.6
3: Rwanda, 43.6
1: Kenya, 3;12.5
2: Eritrea, 3:20.7
3: Tanzania, 3:22.9
1: Emanuela Oroma, UGA, 12.67
2: Lama Hussein, EGY, 12.70
3: Betelhem Shewatatek Haile, ETH, 12.73
1: Betelhem Shewatatek Haile, ETH, 25.7
2: Doaa Anwar Ali, EGY, 25.8
3: Emanuela Oromo, UGA, 26.5
1: Nazret Weldu Ghebrehiwet, ERI, 56.05
2: Biarfose Chepkoech, KEN, 56.76
3: Lydia Wafula, KEN, 57.00
1: Winny Chebet, KEN, 2:09.3
2: Sheila Chepkurui, KEN, 2:09.8
3: Kokob Mehari Berhe, ERI, 2:10.1
1: Winny Chebet, KEN, 4:16.2
2: Sheila Chepkurui, KEN, 4:16.6
3: Kokob Mehari B erhe, ERI, 4:20.1
1: Mary Wacera Ngugi, KEN, 9:16.00
2: Koren Jeleza Yal, ETH, 9:16.8
3: Aseleret Asafa, ETH, 9:21.2
1: Ethiopia, 50.2
2: Kenya, 50.6
3: Egypt, 50.8
2: Ethiopia, 3:56.6
3: Eritrea, 4:02.8