2018 African Youth Games in Algiers – report

Day 1

South Africa earned 3 gold on the first day of athletics competition at the African Youth Games in Algiers (u18), with wins for Jason Tito in the boys’ long jump with 7.53m (no wind information), Francois Prinsloo in the boys’ discus (60.55m) and Dane Roets in the girls’ shot put.

Ethiopia’s Aberash Minsewo, the reigning U18 world champion, had the edge over Sarah Chelangat of Uganda in the girls’ 3000m clocking 9:29.02 against 9:30.60. The Ethiopian has already run much faster this season, setting world youth lead of 8:51.93 at the Doha Diamond League in May. Kenya’s Mercy Chepkorir who was left of the Kenyan team for the World U20 championships due to an error on her passport was third in 9:36.91

The girls’ pole vault was claimed by Imen Rhouma of Tunisia with a best effort of 3.50m.

The sprint qualifying rounds were almost all wind-assisted, but Nigeria’s Rosemary Chukwuma clocked a legal 11.45 in the 100m heats which places her in 5th in the 2018 world youth rankings. Nigeria’s Alaba Akintola and South Africa’s Luke Davids clocked respectively 10.29 and 10.34 in the semi-finals (probably wind-assisted).

Day 2

There were 13 finals on the 2nd day of athletics at the African Youth Games in Algiers

South Africa keeps dominating the competition as almost all their athletes got a medal but a handful in the middle distance.
There were victories with big margins for Lindokuhle Gora in the boys’ 400m hurdles (52.18), Nikolai van Huyssteen in the boys’ pole vault (4.70m) and Kayla van der Bergh in the girls’ 100m hurdles (13.48w) while Luke Davids in the boys’ 100m (10.34w) and Marissa Swanepoel in the girl’s 5000m racewalk (26:06.50) overcame a stronger challenge.

East Africa dominated the distances with 2 victories for Ethiopia (Abrham Sime in the 2000m steeple in 5:39.05, 2018 U18 world lead, and Hirut Meshesha in the girl’s 800m against one for Kenya (Nickson Lesiyia Pariken in a photo finish against Morocco’s Anass Essayi and Ethiopia’s Melese Nberet in the boy’s 1500m).

Nigeria’s athletes distinguished themselves with 3 titles in women’s sprints and jumps. Rosemary Chukwuma held off South Africa’s Rose Xeyi in the 100m (11.53) while Favour Ofili won the 400m in 53.57 a new personal best as she only ran for the 4th time over the distance. Victory George who has already achieved 6.11m in the long jump earlier this year claimed the title with a wind-assisted 5.62m. On the men’s side, Alaba Akintola clinched the silver of the 100m in 10.37w

There were also two gold for Egypt in the throws as Mohamed Salem dominated the shot put with 18.39m and Rawan Barakat the girls’ hammer with 69.16m, almost 10 meters ahead of silver medallist Phethisang Makhethe of South Africa, the younger sister of 2016 African bronze medallist Tshepang Makhethe.

Day 3

Ethiopia claimed the 2 titles in middle distance races on the 3rd day of the African Youth Games. Berihu Aregawi, who was 3rd of the 10000m at the World U20 championships in 27:48.41 earlier this month, won the boys’ 3000m in 7:50.98, a 2018 world youth best, almost 10 seconds ahead of Uganda’s Oscar Chelimo (8:00.72), while Kenya’s Jackson Kavesa was third in 8:03.96. The reigning U18 world champion Lemlem Hailu claimed the women’s 1500m in 4:36.71 ahead of Kenya’s Edinah Jebitok (2017 U18 world bronze medallist).

There was a title for Kenya, not in running but in the girl’s javelin, as Martha Ntanze Mutai will be looking to follow Julius Yego’s footsteps.

Nigeria’s Meyiwa Ineh improved his PB to 16.22m in the triple jump to become the 2nd best rank youth in the world in 2018, jointly with C. Praveen of India, behind Cuba’s prodigy Jordan Diaz (17.41m in 2018).

The hammer throw was dominated by Egypt’s Mohamed Mahmoud (69.49m) while Bianca Erasmus of South Africa won the high jump with 1.67m, followed by Laurentine Fouda of Cameroon who cleared the same height.

In the 200m qualifying rounds, 100m champion Rosemary Chukwuma of Nigeria posted the fastest time on the women’s side (23.81/+0.8), while Zimbawe’s Simbarashe Maketa (20.99) and Gambia’s Sulayman Touray (21.00) were the fastest of the men’s competition.

Day 4

Nigeria’s Rosemary Chukwuma claimed the sprint double winning the 200m in a new PB of 23.45 on the last day of the African Youth Games in Algiers. Sulayman Touray of the Gambia dipped under 21 seconds (20.97) to take the men’s event. The winner of the 400m, Kennedy Luchembe of Zambia, clocked 46.21, a 0.6 improvement on his previous PB.

Kenyan representatives added 2 more gold as Fancy Cherono ran the fastest time by an u18 in the 2000m steeple chase (6:17.68) while Francis Keshoo Pesi emerged as the strongest in the 800m with a time of 1:50.72.

She already did this unusual double back home in South Africa. Gontse Morake repeated it at the continental level winning both the 400m hurdles (60.39) and the triple jump (12.57m). Jano Esterhuizen claimed one more gold for South Africa in the boys’ javelin (72.82m).

There were two titles for the home country Algeria, as Bilel Afer dominated the high jump with a best effort of 2.06m, while Said Khoufache won the 10000m racewalk (49:05.11), an event with only two entrants. Rana Ahmed won a 4th Egyptian gold in the throw with her victory in the discus (44.99m) ahead of South Africa Dane Roets who took the silver after her gold in the shot put. Morocco’s Abderrazak Mouzdahir ruled the 100m hurdles in 13.77.

South Africa topped the medal table with 26 medals (12-11-3) followed by Nigeria with 13 medals (5-3-5), Ethiopia with 9 medals (5-2-2) ahead of Kenya with 11 medals but only 4 gold (4-3-4).

To see the results

100m M: https://www.facebook.com/Athleticheat/videos/656375108054848/
Triple M – le saut à 16.22 de Meyiwa Ineh : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YXxuM49xZc

100m F: https://www.facebook.com/Athleticheat/videos/656439304715095/

400m F: https://www.facebook.com/Athleticheat/videos/656467908045568/
5000m racewalk F: https://www.facebook.com/groups/athleticssa/permalink/2217882858239247/