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Semenya lights up Durban with African Athletics Championships gold hat-trick

Semenya lights up Durban with African Athletics Championships gold hat-trick

South Africa

The Confederation of African Athletics Championships wrapped up on Sunday in Durban South Africa, as the host nation emerged top in the medal standings, after gathering 33 medals (16 gold, 9 silver and 8 bronze.

Kenya came in second with 24 medals, with Nigeria at third with a total of 16.

Among the key highlights of the event were Caster Semenya’s gold medal hat-trick in the 4 by 400m relay, 1500m and 800m. In the women’s 1500m she recorded the second fastest ever time by a South African on Friday. She had also eased into the final of her specialist event, the 800m with a 2:02.01 win in the first semi-final, the fastest time of the three semi-finals.

Ghana’s Nadia Eke has won the first Gold medal for the country at the Durban meet. She emerged top in the triple jump competition to qualify for the Rio Olympics in Brazil.

Eke, who is the national record holder in both the indoor and outdoor triple jump events, has a record of 13.49m, breaking the old record of 13.48m held by France-based Mathile Boateng, according to Pulse Ghana.

The 2011 World Youth 2,000m steeplechase champion Norah Jeruto lead a Kenyan 1-2 sweep with a sterling performance at Kings Park Stadium that saw her post a new Championships record time of 9:25.07. She erased the previous time of 9:29.54 set by Ethiopian Hiwot Ayalew in 2014, reports the Daily Nation.

Jeruto’s compatriot Agnes Chesang settled for silver in 9:27.22. The Kenyan men relinquished the men’s 3,000m steeplechase title for the first time since 2002 to Ethiopian Beyo Chala on Wednesday.

The top athletes from African powerhouses Ethiopia and Kenya missed the championships as they are preparing for national Olympics trials ahead of the Rio Games during August.

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