Kenya showed its prowess in the men's 3,000 meters steeplechase again at the All Africa Games as the first match day of athletics kicks off on Wednesday.
Kenya has been dominating in the event. Since the first All-Africa Games began in 1965, Kenya has won the gold in all the eight editions of the races.
Three talented Kenyan runners joined in the competition, including the Olympic gold medallist Ezekiel Kemboi, who won the gold at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens with a time of eight minutes and 5.81 seconds.
The Kenyans led the race from the beginning. With about 300 meters left, Kemboi led one of his teammates Willy Komen for a sprint. But in the final several meters, Kemboi was seen by spectators suddenly to slow down and give way to Komen to finish first.
The 20-year-old Komen finished with a time of eight minutes and 15.11 seconds, 1.82 seconds ahead of Kemboi, who took the gold at the eighth All-Africa Games in 2003 in Nigeria with a new Games' record time of eight minutes and 12.27 seconds.
Kemboi's failure to defend his title seemed to conform with the fact that Kenya had won the gold in all the eight editions of the races but by eight different names. No Kenyan defends his Games' title in this event.
Ethiopia's Nahom Mesfin managed to take the bronze medal with a time of eight minutes and 17.21 seconds. Kenya's third runner, Elijah Chelimo, finished in the fourth place.
While Kenya dominated in the steeplechase, another Africa power of athletics Ethiopia flexed its muscles in the women's 5,000 meters.
Their Olympic champion and world 5,000-meter record holder Meseret Defar made an easy victory in the women's 5,000 meters by clocking 15 minutes and 2.72 seconds, giving the first gold medal to Ethiopia.
The silver medal also went to Ethiopia with Melkamu Meselech running behind Defar by 1.14 seconds. Kenya's Silvia Kibet took the bronze medal with a time of 15 minutes and 6.39 seconds.
In the women's triple jump, famous Sudanese jumper Yamile Aldama won by jumping 14.46 meters, which was also the first gold for Sudan at the ninth All Africa Games.
Aldama's competing form didn't seeem to be very good since she couldn't secure her victory until the sixth and final jump. And the jumping distance was the worst personal record for her this year.
Nigeria took both the silver and bronze medals. Young Nigerian jumper Chinonyelum Ohadugha, born in 1986, won the silver by jumping 14.21 meters, while her teammate Otonye Iworima took the bronze with 13.83 meters.
In the men's discus throw, Omar El Ghazaly of Egypt defended his champion title by throwing 62.28 meters. Ghazaly also won the gold with 63.61 meters four years ago at the eighth All Africa Games.