Kiprop wins Kenya's first gold at Africa meet

Kiprop Wilson of Kenya raises the Kenyan flag on July 28, 2010 after he won in the 10,000 metres men's finals during the 17th CAA African Atheletics Championships in Nairobi. AFP PHOTO / Tony Kurumba

Litttle-known Wilson Kiprop, stunned favourites Mathew Kisorio and Moses Kipsiro of Uganda to clinch 10,000 gold as the Senior Africa Athletics Championship started on Wednesday at the Nyayo National Stadium here in Nairobi.

Ever since Charles Kamathi lifted the gold in Brazzaville in 2004, Kenya has struggled to dominate the race and were humiliated in Addis Ababa, two years ago as its athletes were lapped almost twice. But revenge was in the air as the race starter got the race underway.

The last time Kenya swept the podium was in 2002 when Paul Kosgei, John Korir and Benjamin Maiyo won all the medals on offer. Now Kiprop and Mutai have almost repeated the same.

Kiprop, who trains in Eldoret with Kipsiro, was timed at 27:32.91, edging out the Ugandan to second to silver in 27:33.37 while Mutai settled for bronze in 27:22.83.

Clean sweep

β€œIt really feels nice to win at home. The race was tough and that meant that we had to plan on how to tackle the other athletes. It worked and we were aiming for the clean sweep, but Kipsiro was eventually strong to deny us. But winning at home is great,” said Kiprop.

He enters the history books as the first Kenyan to win gold in the championship staged at home. Now the focus will be on the other races as Kenya seeks to claim the overall title which has been elusive in the 31 year history of the championship.

Kisorio was fourth in 27:56.71 ahead of the first Ethiopian Yakob who took 28:33.83 with almost 100m separating the two fastest athletes off the medal bracket.

Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda was sixth in 28:33.83 ahead of Tanzanian Fabien Joseph, the former World half marathon winner in 28:40.53.

In a closely fought race, the Kenyans lived through the pressure of the home crowd as Mathew Kisorio, a former world junior silver medallist over the 5,000m, took the initiative to dictate the pace.