African Games 2023: Kenya’s Beatrice Chepkoech shatters records in Ghana


Kenya’s Beatrice Chepkoech and Burkina Faso’s Hugues Fabrice Zango illuminated the African Games in Accra, Ghana, with record-breaking performances, encapsulating the spirit of African athletics at its finest.

On days three and four of the athletics competition, the African Games witnessed a convergence of world record-holders and champions, turning the spotlight on the continent’s unparalleled talent.

Kenya, having faced a challenging start against Ethiopia in the middle and long-distance events, found its stride on the subsequent days. Beatrice Chepkoech, the women’s world 3000m steeplechase record-holder, showcased her dominance in her signature event after a less than satisfactory fourth place in the 5000m.

Chepkoech, with resilience and determination, set a new championship record of 9:15.61, obliterating the previous record and asserting her authority.

The track also saw Kenya’s Mary Moraa, world 800m champion, venturing into the 400m and clinching the title with a remarkable performance.

Moraa’s victory not only underscored her versatility but also marked a significant achievement for Kenyan athletics, further enriched by a Kenyan 1-2 finish in the men’s 800m, with Aron Cheminingwa and Alex Ngeno Kipngetich leading the charge.

Parallel to Kenya’s success, Burkina Faso’s Hugues Fabrice Zango retained his triple jump title with a leap of 16.73m, later extending his mark to confirm his dominance.

Zango’s performance was not just a personal victory but also a beacon of inspiration for his compatriot Yacouba Loue, who clinched the bronze, showcasing the depth of talent within African athletics.

Beyond these remarkable performances, the games were a testament to the competitive spirit and camaraderie among African nations. Nigeria’s sprinters, Chidi Okezie in the men’s 400m and Tobi Amusan in the 100m hurdles, showcased exceptional talent, with Amusan overcoming a false start scare to defend her title successfully.

The African Games also served as a platform for athletes from nations like Senegal, Botswana, and Algeria to shine, demonstrating the continental spread of athletic prowess. Misgana Wakuma Fekansa of Ethiopia and Emily Ngii of Kenya triumphed in the 20km race walk events, adding to the diverse medal tally.

The field events were no less spectacular, with South Africa’s Jo-Ane van Dyk breaking the championship record in the women’s javelin throw, and Nigeria’s discus throwers, Obiageri Amaechi and Chioma Onyekwere, clinching the top two spots. These achievements highlight the multifaceted talent present across the continent, extending beyond the track.

Remarkably, the Games also set the stage for the emergence of new talent, as seen in the men’s and women’s 4x100m relays, where Nigeria, Ghana, and Liberia excelled, showcasing the bright future of African athletics. These performances not only celebrated individual and team successes but also symbolized the unity and competitive spirit that defines the African Games.

In essence, the African Games in Accra became a melting pot of talent, resilience, and athletic excellence, with Kenya’s Beatrice Chepkoech and Burkina Faso’s Hugues Fabrice Zango leading the charge.

Their record-setting performances, alongside the achievements of their fellow athletes, not only brought glory to their nations but also uplifted the spirit of African athletics, promising a future replete with more records, champions, and inspirational stories.

The legacy of Accra’s African Games is not merely in the records set or titles retained but in the indomitable spirit of competition and unity that it fostered among the continent’s athletes.


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