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Kenya, South Africa Tops Medal Chart in Africa Athletics Championships

NAIROBI, July 31.   On the third day of the Africa Athletics Championship here on Friday, host Kenya and South Africa remained even at the top of the medal standings with five gold apiece.

Kenya is keeping a firm grip on its middle and long distance races while South Africa continues to reign in the field events and sharing the spoils with giants Nigeria in the sprints.

On Friday, the Beijing Olympic Games 1,500m champion Nancy Jebet Lagat secured a sweet victory for the home fans to steer Kenya to the top as she picked up the host country's tenth medal.

At the close of the championship on Friday, Kenya had five golds, two silvers and three bronzes, the same as as South Africa, while Nigeria is third with seven medals, three gold, one silver and three bronze.

Senegal is fourth (1-3-1), Egypt fifth(1-2-1) while Cote d' Ivoire is sixth with one gold, one silver and one bronze, the same as Algeria.

Kenya was able to secure a rear medal in the high jump as Cherotich Koech, 21, clinched the bronze though another Kenyan Catherine Kagwiria did not start.

Ts'oalei Selloane of Lesotho won her country gold after she cleared 1.75m while Setchelles Lissa Labiche took silver having jumped 1.70m.

Elizna Naude of South Africa won gold in the women discus throw as she cleared 56.74 ahead of Kazai Suzanne Kragbe of Cote d' Ivoire 55.53 with Egypt's Sarah Hasseib Dardiri claiming the bronze in 46.51.

Kenya's national champion Caroline Cherotich was only good enough to claim fourth with a throw of 38.75 meters ahead of compatriots Cecilia Kiplagat whose throw went as far as 38.23 meters while Pascaline Kipsang was sixth with 35.87m.

In Long jump, it was Nigeria that reigned supreme as Blessing Okagbare chalked up the gold clearing 6.62 meters ahead of compatriot Comfort Onyali who could go as far as 6.42 meters to leave Morocco's Jamaa to take the bronze in 6.30m.

Mali's Yah Koita could only clear 6.11 to take the fourth slot while Cameroon's Sandrine Mbumi jump of 6.05 meters was enough to see her finish fifth.



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