Africa’s Olympic triumphs

2012-08-11 15:09

Continent hits its stride in London

Africa’s Olympic campaign took on a golden, silver and bronze sheen this week as the continent’s athletes hit their stride on the track.

On Thursday night, Kenyan David Rudisha did the unthinkable – he turned the world’s attention away from Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt.

Just 55 minutes before Bolt took to the track for the 200m final, Rudisha had the 80 000-strong crowd in London’s Olympic Stadium eating out of his hand and brought Africa to its feet.

Rudisha (23) smashed the world record in 1:40.91 in the 800m final, taking the continent to a neat 1-2-3 on the winners’ podium.

Teenager Nijel Amos bagged Botswana’s first-ever Olympic medal, taking silver, while Rudisha’s compatriot Timothy Kitum came third for the bronze.

“One time when I was going through a magazine I came across an article saying my father (Daniel) had wanted to break the 400m world record in the 1960s but he couldn’t – and for his son to do it is an honour,” Rudisha said after his record-breaking win.

He revealed that he’d eaten a full meal before the race.

“I’m Masaai and we eat, especially meat! I had yoghurt and fruit for breakfast; and rice, soup and chicken later.” His diet clearly paid off.

In the days leading up to Rudisha’s heroics, Tiki Gelana of Ethiopia won the women’s marathon in an Olympic record time of 2:03.07.

Kenya’s Priscah Jeptoo got silver in that race.

On Wednesday, South African kayaker Bridgitte Hartley delivered an ideal Women’s Day gift with her bronze medal in the K1 500m final. She joined SA’s other medal winners: Chad le Clos (gold), Cameron van der Burgh (gold), Sizwe Ndlovu (gold), Matthew Brittain (gold), James Thompson (gold) and John Smith (gold).

It wasn’t only the 800m men’s competitors who set the pace for Africa – Ethiopian Meseret Defar won the 5 000m race, edging countrywoman Tirunesh Dibaba in the final.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.