Kenya missed the podium place in the 10000m race as Ethiopian took the first and place at the 21st CAA African Senior Athletics Championships (ASAC) being held at the Stephen Keshi Township Stadium in Asaba, Nigeria.
Jemal Yimer Mekonnen took first position in 29.08.01.
“This wasn’t easy,” said Yimer, who was fourth at these championships two years ago and fifth over the distance at the World Championships last year. “There was a lot of competition from my teammates and the humidity made it difficult.”
Transportation and logistical challenges in recent days forced a massive revision of the competition timetable, this morning reduced to just three events in total for the opening day to allow time for the last remaining athletes who were stranded in Lagos Airport –some for nearly three days– to be transported the final 450 kilometres to the capital of Nigeria’s Delta State. That group included the Kenyan 10,000m trio of Vincent Kipsang, Josphat Bett and Kipsang Temoi, who finally arrived at their hotel just three hours before the gun sounded.
His fellow training mate Andamalak Belilu, took second place in 29:11.02 with Uganda’s Timothy Toroitich closing the podium three in 29:14.52.
Kipsang and Temoi finished in fourth and fifth place with a time of 29:14.52 and 29:25.54 respectively. Another Kenyan Joseph Kipkoech Bett finished a distant sixth in 30:13.22
The championships record record of 27:10.74 that was set in 2012 by Kenya’s Kenneth Kipkemoi remains intact.