Kenya in athletics whitewash

2011-03-07 00:00

JOHN Mwangangi led the Kenyan team to a clean sweep of the men’s 12 km race in the African Cross-country Championships held in an extremely hot Cape Town yesterday.

The Kenyan squad overwhelmed all comers taking the honours in all four events and completely outclassing athletes from over a dozen countries. The results also need to be viewed in perspective in that the north-east African team comprised of Kenya’s younger second stream side, which suggests they will continue their winning streak in the World Cross-country Championships later this month.

A blanket could have been thrown over Mwangangi and his colleagues Stephen Kiprotich, Henry Chirchir and Philip Kiprono throughout the race and only eight seconds separated first from fourth at the finish.

Kgosi Tsosane may have been over 300 metres adrift at the finish, but he earned a rare victory over South African team-mate and multiple distance running champion Stephen Mokoka by 17 seconds.

Zambian Tony Wamulwa created a break between Mokoka and the third South African, Lungiswa Mdedela, with Boy Soke filling 12th spot in 37:25 to close the team for the silver.

Mercy Cherono led the Kenyan women to fill the individual podium and the top step of the team lists. The quintet of Kenyans was 200 metres clear of Moroccan duo Lakhouad Btissam and Sahl Bouchra.

Annerien van Schalkwyk led the South Africans with a seven-second edge over Lebogang Phalula for 11th and 12th spots. National 800 m champion Mapaseka Makhanya added a 16th place, and Phalula’s twin sister Lebo closed the team with her 20th position, to earn the bronze behind Kenya and Morocco.

Kenya added whitewashes in both the Junior men and women, grouping their six athletes in the top six spots in both.

Only a matter of 25 seconds separated the first and sixth junior man. Japhet Korir led the sextet home in 23 minutes three seconds, with the first South African Luyanda Qolo a distant 14th two minutes off the pace.

Jeromy Andreas and William Kaptein finish directly behind, and with Luxolo Mdzanga two places behind in 18th it was good enough to earn the team the bronze medals again behind Kenya and Morocco.

Although slightly more spaced out, Caroline Chepkoech’s victory in the junior women in 19 minutes 59 seconds was almost a full minute ahead of sixth-placed Norah Cheruto, which gave the Kenyans the top spot on the team podium ahead of Morocco.

The best of the host country’s athletes was Sylvia Tshetlanyane, who finished in 12th position in 22 minutes and eight seconds.

Senior men

Team 1 Kenya 10, 2 South Africa 31, 3 Morocco 64

1 John Mwangangi KEN 35:31, 2 Stephen Kiprotich KEN 35:34, 3 Henry Chirchir KEN 35:35, 4 Philip Kiprono KEN 35;39, RSA — 5 Kgosi Tsosane 36:32, 6 Stephen Mokoka 36:49, 8 Lungiswa Mdedelwa 37:04, 12 Boy Soke 37:25, 15 Tshamano Setone 37:48, 20 Xolisa Tyali 38:38

Senior Women

Team 1 Kenya 10, 2 Morocco 36, 3 South Africa 59

1 Mercy Cherono KEN 27:13, 2 Voila Kibiwot KEN 27:14, 3 Doris Changeiywo KEN 27:22, 4 Pauline Njeri KEN 27:23, 5 Innes Chenonge KEN 27:43,

RSA — 11 Annerien van Schalkwyk 28:49, 12 Lebogang Phalula 28:56, 16 Mapaseka Makhanya 29:28, 20 Lebo Phalula 29:58, 22 Rene Kalmer 30:24, 23 Teboho Masehla 30:46.

Junior men

Team: 1 Kenya 10, 2 Morocco 50, 3 South Africa 63

1 Japhet Korir KEN 23:03, 2 Patrick Mwaka KEN 23:04, 3 Micholas Togom KEN 23:18, 4 Gideon Kipketer KEN 23:19, 5 Dennis Kipruto KEN 23;21 . RSA — 14 Luyanda Qolo 25:02, 15 Jeromy Andreas 25:06, 16 William Kaptein 25:12, 18 Luolo Mdzanga 25;26, 21 Merline Klaaste 26:17, 24 Edwin Sesipi 26:39

Junior women

Team 1 Kenya 10, 2 Morocco 42, 3 South Africa 65

1 Caroline Chepkoech KEN 19:59, 2 Mary Munanu KEN 20:00, 3 Zipporah Wanjiru KEN 20:05, 4 Jepchirchir Cheruiyot KEN 20:09, 5 Alice Aprot KEN 20:12. RSA — 12 Sylvia Tshetlanyane 22:08, 14 Konzeni Gwegwe 22;18, 19 Caroline Marandela 22:43, 20 Thato Makhafola 22:47, 21 Letitia Saayman 22;54, 24 Thandeka Manzana 23;46.

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