Daily Online Journal for Tunis 2005 - Sept 4, 2005

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The Final Day of the Junior African Athletics Championship-Who will take home the crown?
by Dannette LEININGER, DITC Sports Director

The final day of the Junior African Athletics Championship was upon us all. There will 16 finals today and the championed crowned. On day 3, South Africa led in the gold count and overall medals going into the last day of competition but with 16 events to be contested the out right winner couldn't be predicted. The Women's 10,000m Race Walk started the day right and by 9:00 am South Africa stretched their lead with Hendrika Botha performance in 52:15.22. Men's High Jump began the evening session with a back and forth struggle with Botswana's Kabelo Kgosiemang setting a championship record of 2.16m. Other championship records set by Kenyan athletes in the Men's 800m set by Geoffrey Kipkoech and Women's Steeple Chase winner Wanjir Mercy Njoroge in the time of 9:50.63. South African Marli Knoetze crushed the competition in the discus with a throw of 16.93m and Ruan De Vries made it look easy with his championship record in the 110 Hurdles with a time of 14.12.

It seemed like Sudan's national anthem played all night long. Actually Sudan took gold to the podium 5 times with and outstanding championship performances by Nawel El Jack, winning the 200m, 400m, 400m Hurdles and anchored the 4 x 400 relay and her male counterpart Negmedine Abubaker nearly mirrored her effort with wins in the 200m 400m and anchor of the 4 x 400. It was going to be close but with a strong showing South Africa bested the field with Kenya performing solidly and with the wild finish in the men's 4 x 400 relay. Siddiq Ahmed Ibrahim raised his hand by the second leg of the race because the Sudanese coaches had calculated if they were within 20 meters of the leader on this leg they would have a good chance to win the race. When Sidiq saw that Sudan was only 5 meter behind the leader he knew it was over and that Sudan will have won the race and clinched 3 rd in the championships. Sidiq's prediction came true and team Sudan took the 4 x 400 in dominating fashion by 3 seconds.

The African Junior Athletics Championship in Tunis ended with spontaneous celebration by all the athletes. Of course champions South Africa, Kenya and Sudan had something to celebrate as the top 3 finishers in the medal count but it was quite refreshing to see all the athletes run on to the field with their flags creating a kaleidoscope of color just reveling in the moment at the close of a championship. The party continued at the closing Athlete Dinner around the poolside of the athlete hotel. With dinner was completed; gifts exchanged the dancing started led by Murray Sanford and soon the athletes that were at their tables changed their clothes and began the pool party. It was obvious it was only an activity for the young. So it was the signal for yours truly, quoting my father, "To totter off to bed."

I've really enjoyed Tunis and I hope to be fortunate enough to return in order to experience more about the land and its people as I am certain I have only scratched the surface. I am so appreciative to have met our host Abdellatif Chekir and experienced Tunisian hospitality, and visit some sites such as Carthage, Sidi Bou Said, La Marsa, Old Tunis and privileged to be a part of a wonderful championship. I offer my congratulations to the Tunisian Athletics Federation for successfully hosting the Junior African Athletics Championships. Congratulations to all the sports administrators, coaches and competitors that work tirelessly to prepare and perform. This championship is a necessary stepping-stone to gaining experiences on the international level and of course a measuring stick to evaluate the level of performance. Congratulations to the top medal count finishers of South Africa, Kenya and Sudan.

Reporting from TUNIS 2005 for Atlanta's DITC


Day 4 Results (French, listed under "4ème Journée") or English version
Final medal count results

Day 4 Photo Gallery for Tunis 2005 - Sept 4, 2005

Referees and judges on their way to the stadium


Team from the German Sports Institute, Cologne


Insuring the highest standards. Alone!

With a colleague!

Hurdles in places

(right) Shaheddine DRISSI, Technical Director,
TUNIS 2005

Two volunteers at work..

Caption goes here

Team Sudan

Another Bronze medal awarded to South Africa

Marc Daniel GUTEKUNST, Fatima EL FAQUIR awarding more medals to African champions

Benoit LARUEL, Sales Manager for Africa, CONICA congratulating another champion

Siddiq Ahmed IBRAHIM, President, Sudan Athletics, Benoit LARUEL, Isaiah KIPLAGAT, IAAF Council Member

Benoit LARUEL and Isaiah KIPLAGAT

Hamad KALKABA Malboum and Khaled AMARA, AAC Council Member (Tunisia) standing in front of the new 4x400 African Champions

The very successful TUNIS 2005 Championships are declared closed...

Marc Daniel GUTEKUNST, David OKEYO, AAC Council Member, Siddig Ahmed IBRAHIM (Sudan), AAC Council Member at the Closing Ceremony banquet

To Siddiq's right Colonel Pascal SAWADOGO, President of the National Olympic Committee of Burkina Faso, Founding Member of the DITC

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