Kenya sent what was essentially a second unit aka “B” team to the 2012 African championships in Benin. Given the absence of Kenya’s top guns, not much was expected from this Unit. Yet Kenya won the most medals and came within a whisker of finishing at the top of the standings.
All in all Kenya won 27 medals including 9 gold medals to finish second in the standings. There were clean sweeps in the mens 5000m, mens 5000m, womens 10,000m. Kenya’s talent in depth was on full display. Most notable was Glady’s Cherono’s double in the 5K and 10K.
Veronica Nyaruai who career was left for dead a few years ago, made a comeback to win a silver medal.
Julius Yego known popularly as Mr. Youtube won the mens Javelin by quite a distance. He is known as Mr. Youtube because given the lack of coaching field events in Kenya, he learned Javelin technique by watching youtube videos. He tossed the spear a distance of 76.68m.
Mathew Sawe won a rare medal for Kenya in the mens high jump. Quite an achievement considering that most Kenyan high jumpers still use the ancient stomach first technique.
Linda Oseso who is based in the USA, returned home and acquited herself well by finishing 5th. She now holds the Kenya record.. Given her youth, she will eventually win a championship medal.
Also notable was David Kimutai’s succesful defence of his 20km walk title. Now 43 years old, Kimutai has been representing Kenya since 1995 and is still going strong and shows no signs of slowing down.
In the sprint events Kenya sent some youthful runners who will have gained valuable experience and hopefully motivation. Ibrahim Muya came within a whisker of reaching the mens 100m final. Mike Mokamba is a promising 200m runner. He is the son of Elkana Nyangau who was a member of the mens 4 X 100m team that reached the semi final of the 1988 Olympics and in the process set a Kenya record that still stands today. Joyce Sakari was 5th in the womens 400m. The youthful Boniface Mucheru started his international career in a high note, winning a bronze medal in the mens 400m hurdles.
Dissapointingly however, Kenya’s 4 X 400m teams failed to repeat their superb performances from 2011.
Kenya’s gold medal winners were Caleb Mwangangi (1500m), Mercy Njoroge (womens 3000m SC), Mark Kiptoo (mens 5000m), Gladys Cherono (womens 5000m and 10,000m), Kenneth Kipkemoi (mens 10,000m), Abel Mutai (mens 3000m SC)
Kenya’s silver medal winners were : Eunice Sum (womens 800m), Jonathan Maiyo (mens 5000m), Prisca Jepleting (womens 10,000m), Anthony Chemut (mens 800m), Mary Kuria (womens 1500m), Mark Kiptoo (mens 10,000m), Veronic Nyaruai (womens 5000m), Wilson Maraba (mens 3000m SC)
The bronze medal winners were : Hyvin Jepkemoi (womens 3000m SC), Timothy Kiptoo (mens 5000m), Betsy Saina (womens 10,000m) , Margaret Wangare (womens 1500m) , Lewis Mosoti (mens 10,000m), Grace Wanjiru (womens 20km walk) Boniface Mucheru (400mH), and the mens 4 X 400m