Alice Aprot has never run the 10,000m women’s race before and was not even in the Kenya team for the event but went on to win gold.
Aprot started out as the team pacesetter, but eventually crossed the line first in a course record time of 31:24.18 minutes.
“I have never run 10,000m competitively in my life. I have been doing cross country a lot and so decided to try it when I was approached by the coach and here I am with gold,” Aprot said.
She was followed in second place by compatriot Gladys Kiptagelai, who clocked a season best time of 31:36.87, while Ethiopia’s Burka Gelete was third in 31:38.33.
Aprot was approached by Kenya athletics coach John “Warm up” Mwithiga to pace-set for the 10,000m team which had only two athletes Kiptagelai and World Cross country champion Agnes Chebet.
The 20-year-old from Turkana, who is a sister of 2010 World Cross Country Champion Joseph Ebuya, did not want to disappoint and readily took up the task of pace-setting for the duo.
“Our plan for the race was that Kiptagelai, who is always a front runner, stays in front as Aprot holds for Chebet in the middle of the pack. Chebet was the one to go for gold,” coach Mwithiga said.
Instead, it was Aprot who crossed the line first for a splendid victory.
Kenya’s Job Kinyor won silver in the men’s 800m race in 1:50.73 minutes behind favourite Botswana’s Amos Nijel who took the gold in 1:50.46.
Kenya’s Luka Kanda finished second in the men’s half marathon in 1:03.27 hours behind winner Tadese Zersenay from Eritrea who won gold in 1:03.11.
In another development, the wrangling in the Kenya Taekwondo Federation spilled over to the Games here in Brazzaville when the official Team Kenya squad was barred from taking part by the officials and another team from the country registered to participate.
The team allowed to participate was a rival group which had been left behind in Nairobi for failing to take part in the Team Kenya trials.
LACK OF ACCREDITATION
The faction arrived in Brazzaville on Wednesday evening and sneaked into the Games village only to be discovered by security and thrown out on the same night for lack of accreditation.
The five, Gladys Mwaniki (73kg), Milka Akinyi (62kg), Dora James (46kg), Martin Oduol (62kg) and Vincent Ochieng (68kg), who are in the rival group led by Suleiman Sumba and George Wasonga, had already been secretly licensed to take part in the Games at the expense of the official Kenya team whose chairman is Bobby Musungu. Taekwondo competition started on Thursday.
Immediately the rival faction arrived in town, Team Kenya Chief de Mission Gordon Oluoch, and three Members of Parliament headed by Dan Wanyama convened an emergency meeting at the team’s Kintele Village where they accused Sumba and Wasonga of using their positions at the continental body to blackmail Kenyans.