18th African Senior Athletics Championships-Seychelles finishes joint-12th


Labiche gave Seychelles its only medal – a gold – in the women’s high jump of the biennial championships

Female high jumper Lissa Labiche won the country its only medal – a gold – with a new Seychelles record of 1.86m at the Charles de Gaulle stadium last Friday, while Jean-Yves Esparon beat the 200m national junior mark on Saturday.

Labiche cleared 1.86m in one jump to win the women’s high jump gold medal on count-back to move a place up the medals podium after finishing as runner-up in Nairobi, Kenya two years ago.

Labiche started the competition at 1.75m and cleared the bar with her first jump. The 19-year-old did the same at 1.80m before opting to skip at 1.83m. She then failed all her three attempts at 1.89m.

Runner-up to Labiche was South African Anika Smit who cleared the same height but did so in two jumps. The bronze medal went to Morocco’s Rhizlane Siba for her 1.75m jump.

After winning 10 gold medals – three by male athletes and seven by females – Nigeria, who also won six silver and five bronze medals, regained the top spot of Africa athletics.

Kenya, who beat Nigeria by just one gold medal two years ago on home soil in Nairobi, finished second with 27 medals – nine gold, nine silver and nine bronze.

With 24 medals – six gold, 10 silver and eight bronze – South Africa finished third, followed by Senegal (fourth with six medals – three gold, one silver and two bronze), Botswana (fifth with four medals – three gold and one silver), Algeria (sixth with seven medals – two gold, three silver and two bronze), Morocco (seventh with seven medals – two gold, two silver and three bronze), Tunisia (eighth with five medals – two gold, one silver and two bronze), Ghana (ninth with five medals – one gold, two silver and two bronze), Ivory Coast (10th with six medals – one gold, one silver and four bronze), and Uganda (11th with two medals – one gold and one bronze).

The other countries who did not win any gold medal at the championships are Egypt, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Djibouti, Sudan, Cameroon, Liberia and Mauritius.
Elite female and male athletes from 50 countries on the African continent took part in the biennial event.

Like Seychelles, Madagascar, Gabon and Burundi won a gold medal apiece. Malagasy Kame Ali was the decathlon gold medallist with 7,511 points, relegating Algerian Mourad Souissi (7,276 points) and Mauritian Guillaume Thierry (7,212 points) to second and third places.

Burundian Francine Niyonsaba, 16, won the women’s 800m title in 1 minute 59.11 seconds which is a new record for her country. The silver medal went to Kenya’s Eunice Sum in 1:59.13 while Morocco’s Malika Akkaoui (1:59.90) took bronze.

Gabon’s only medal was won by Ruddy Zang Milama who gave her country its first ever sprint title by dethroning Nigerian Blessing Okagbare in the women’s 100m in 11.16 seconds. Okagbare timed 11.18 seconds for silver and Gloria Asumnu took the bronze in 11.28 seconds.

Jean-Yves Esparon beat Christopher Laurencine’s national junior 200m record with a  new time of 21.75 seconds to be ranked 27th out of 50 competitors. Laurencine’s old mark of 21.95 seconds had been standing since August 18, 2007.

The following are the results of the other Seychellois athletes who took part in the championships:

Natacha Bibi – women’s 400m in 57.36 seconds (PB) to be ranked 27th out of 30
Joanne Lou-Toy – women’s 100m in 12.62 seconds to be ranked 24th out of 30
Jean-Yves Esparon – men’s 100m in 11.06 seconds to be ranked 35th out of 49
Danny D’Souza – men’s 100m in 11.07 seconds to be ranked 36th out of 49
Lester Dogley – men’s 100m in 11.25 seconds to be ranked 42nd out of 49
Janet Boniface – women’s long jump 5.89m in qualifiers and 5.75m in final to be ranked 9th out of 11
Janet Boniface – women’s triple jump 11.77m to be ranked 13th out of 14
Lissa Labiche – women’s high jump 1.86m to win the gold medal
Lissa Labiche – women’s long jump 5.89m in qualifiers and did not take part in final as it clashed with high jump final

Jean-Yves Esparon – men’s 200m in 21.75 seconds to be ranked 27th out of 50 (new junior national record)

Neddy Marie – men’s 200m in 22.03 seconds to be ranked 35th out of 50
Leeroy Henriette – men’s 200m in 22.07 seconds to be ranked 37th out of 50
Men’s 4x100m relay team of Danny D’Souza, Jean-Yves Esparon, Neddy Marie and Leeroy Henriette 41.33 seconds to be ranked 9th out of 10

William Woodcock – men’s high jump with 2.10m to be ranked 4th out of 8

G. G.

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