Africa: Olympic roundup


London games see mixed fortunes for African athletes.

 Africa’s Olympics roundup

South Africa
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Swimmer Chad Le Clos secured gold and silver medals in the Aquatics Centre, in the men’s 200m and 100m butterfly events. His success made an unexpected star of his father, Bert, who was overcome with emotion whilst being interviewed by the BBC. South Africa also picked up gold medals in the men’s 100m breaststroke, and the men’s lightweight fours rowing.

South Africa has high hopes for former world champion Caster Semanya, who eased into through her heats on her Olympic debut.  After recording a season’s best time in her semi-final, Semanya will compete in Saturday’s final with high hopes of a gold medal.

Competing in Friday evening’s men’s 4X400m relay, will be South Africa’s Oscar Pistorious. The sprinter, nicknamed “the blade runner” because of his prosthetic legs made the semi-final of the individual event, and was given another shot at a medal when the relay team were put through to their final after winning an appeal. The team had originally missed out on the final after Pistorious’ team-mate Ofentse Mogawane fell in the heats. However, judges ruled that he had been blocked.

Ethiopia
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Tiki Gelana powered to gold in the women’s marathon, holding off a fierce challenge from Kenyan Priscah Jeptoo.

Meanwhile on the athletics field, fellow distance runner Tirunesh Dibaba retained her Olympic title with a dominant display in the women’s 10,000m event, while bronze medals were also won in the men’s 10,000m and the women’s 3000m steeplechase.

Kenya
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Kenya’s David Rudisha set a stunning new world record in what commentators described as the “best 800m race of all time”. All eight athletes in the race recorded a personal or season’s best, but Rudisha took the gold after a sublime performance, smashing the world record with his time of 1m 40.91s.

Elswhere, after a hard fought race, Priscah Jeptoo lost out to Ethiopia’s Tiki Gelana in the women’s marathon, while Sally Jepkosgei Kipyego and Vivian Jepkemoi Cheruyiot took silver and bronze respectively in the women’s 10,000m, again losing out to Ethiopia.

In the men’s 3000m steeplechase Ezekiel Kemboi came first ahead of compatriot Abel Mutai in third. Kemboi became the first Kenyan to win gold medals in two different Olympics, after winning the same event during the Athens games in 2004.

Algeria
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Algeria’s Taoufik Makhloufi won gold in the men’s 1500m , just 24 hours after being excluded from the Olympics. The 24-year old runner had won his 1500m semi-final at the weekend, before being included by Algeria in the 800m race. Makhloufi completed just 200m of that race before stopping and leaving the track. The International Association of Athletics Federations said he had “not provided a bona fide effort” and would be “excluded from further events”. However, after inspecting medical evidence, the IAAF reinstated Makhloufi into Tuesdays 1500m final.

Tunisia
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Habiba Ghribi came second in the women’s 3000m steeplechase, winning her country’s sole silver medal at the London Games so far. Oussama Mellouli also picked up a bronze medal for finishing third in the men’s 1500m freestyle swimming event.

Egypt
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Egpypt won silver medals in the men’s individual foil fencing, and the men’s 84kg Greco-Roman wrestling.

Morocco
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Runner Abdalaati Iguider came third in the men’s 1500m, winning his country’s only Olympic medal so far.

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