IN GULU, UGANDA
Kenya bagged three gold medals on the opening day of the athletics program at the ongoing Brookside East Africa Secondary School Games here in Gulu on Thursday.
Jackson Muema started the medal rush early morning as he led a Kenyan 1-2 sweep in the boys’ 10,000m at Peace Stadium.
Dolphine Omare secured Kenya’s second gold after beating her peers in the girls’ 5000m race. Nakeel School’s Josphat Leyino made it three golds in the boys’ high jump competition as Kenya underlined its dominance in track and field events.
Muema, a Form Two student at Kivandini Secondary School, timed 29 minutes 50.3 seconds to win a 10,000m race that had only four runners. Kevin Kibiwot secured silver after he finished 0.6 seconds later. Uganda’s Caiphas Kipyako settled for bronze in 30:42.1 to the delight of the home fans that gathered to follow the action.
Muema, who finished second nationally, is hoping his maiden win on his debut at the regional games will inspire him to greater success.
“My strategy was to stay close to the leader and burst out in the last 400 metres and I am glad it worked. I hope this inspires me to many more victories,” said Muema, who looks up to Olympic Marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge.
Omare run a tactical race to win the 5,000m race, timing 16:49.6 after beating her peers in the girls 5000m race. Aciro Knight of Uganda took silver in 17:.22.5, while Lucy Mokire of Kenya came in 24 seconds later to complete the podium.
Leyino was in good form in the high jump with an impressive 1.94m ahead of South Sudan’s Stephen Yual (1.94m) and Kenya’s Wilson Lentunyei (1.85).
Kenya will look to bag more medals on the last day of the athletics program on Friday.
In girls’ volleyball, Kenya and Rwanda are guaranteed of a place in the final.
In Friday’s semis, former champions Kwanthanze tackle compatriots Cheptil in a repeat of last month’s nationals as 2015 G.S Indagaburezi play fellow Rwandese side St Aloys in the other last four encounter.
Kwanthanze, back in the games after a one-year absence, beat Indagaburezi 3-0 (25-23, 25-19, 25-13) in their last group match on Thursday.
In the boys’ contest, champions Malava and Sengera SDA from Kenya failed to make the semis leaving two-time winners Cheptil as the only home side left in the competition.
Kakamega skipper Job Ochieng believes the side has what it takes to go all the way to the final.