Douala, Cameroon – In an exciting turn of events at the African Championships, Sarah Moraa, cousin of renowned athlete Mary Moraa, captured Kenya’s first gold medal in the women’s 800 meters. Despite her triumph, Sarah narrowly missed the Olympic qualifying time, with the deadline looming.

Sarah aimed to achieve the Olympic standard of 1:59.30, as she was already named to the Olympic team. In a commendable effort, she clocked 2:00.27, just shy of the required time. The qualification window closes on July 30, giving her only six more days to make the cut.

Lilian Odira, who finished second in the race with a time of 2:00.36, has already secured her spot for the Paris Olympics. Morocco’s Soukaina Hajji finished third, clocking 2:00.91. Odira emphasized their combined effort to help Sarah reach the qualifying mark. “We aimed for the Olympic qualifying time for Moraa. Although we missed it, a 1-2 finish for Kenya is a significant achievement,” she remarked. Odira plans a brief family visit before heading to the Kenyan Olympic camp for Paris preparations.

Purchase a running classic now at the Runner’s Tribe Shop

Kipng’etich Ngeno added to Kenya’s success by winning the men’s 800 meters, leading from the start and finishing in 1:45.02. Botswana’s Kethobogile Hanguira and Uganda’s Tom Dradriga took second and third places, respectively. Ngeno will now focus on the Diamond League Meetings after missing out on the Olympic team with a fourth-place finish at the national trials. “I’m pleased with this victory. My next target is the Diamond League since I didn’t qualify for the Olympics,” he said.

In other events, Edmund Serem secured a silver medal in the men’s 3,000 meters steeplechase, while Boniface Mweresa narrowly missed the podium, finishing fourth in the 400 meters with a time of 45.62.

In the previous African Championships held in 2022 in Mauritius, Kenya led the medal tally with 23 medals, including 10 golds. This year, Team Kenya aims to defend its top position, having already secured two bronze medals from Roncer Konga in the 5000 meters and Edwin Too in the Decathlon.

Kenya’s athletes continue to demonstrate their strength and determination on the continental stage, bringing pride to the nation and setting sights on further achievements.