In an intense display of endurance and stamina in the 10,000 meters race final, Ethiopia on Wednesday dug deep to clinch the gold and silver medals at the ongoing 21st Africa Athletics championships tagged ‘Asaba 2018’.
The Kenyan team which comprised of the 2016 Africa Junior Cross Country champion Kipsang Temoi, fast-rising Vincent Rono and Josephat Bett led the race for most part of the laps.
Ethiopia’s Jemal Mekonnen crossed the line in a time of 29:09.17s, followed by country man, Andamalak Belilu Beata who finished on 29:11.09s to edge the Kenyans out to lead the pack while Uganda clinched the third place for bronze through Timothy Toroitich who finished the 25 laps race at 29:11.87s
Timothy Toroitich is the only Ugandan runner for the 10,000m final after World Under-20 Cross Country champion Jacob Kiplimo withdrew from the championships.
They were presented with their medals by the Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung and the executive governor of Delta state, Patrick Okowa.
Meanwhile, Team Kenya was forced to spend the night in Lagos, after failing to secure a connecting flight to Asaba, the hosting venue.
Some teams, such as Uganda, Morocco and Ivory Coast, had to spend two days at Lagos after the Local Organizing Committee got overwhelmed by the arriving visitors.
Close to 52 countries are expected to feature in the event that would end on August 5.
South Africa are the defending champions of the African Senior Athletics having hosted and won the last edition on home soil in Durban.