As the Commonwealth Games 2014 comes to a close in Glasgow, we reflect on the performance of the African nations, in what has been hailed the ‘best Games ever’. Out of all the African nations, South Africa finished top at 7th place on the medals table, winning 13 gold, 10 silver and 17 bronze medals. Nigeria were 8th with 11 golds, 11 silvers and 14 bronze medals, and Kenya 9th with 10 golds, 10 silvers and 5 bronze medals.
South Africa’s main medal achievements were in the swimming, and lawn bowls. In the swimming, Chad Le Clos won the Gold in the Men’s 100m Butterfly Final, and broke the CWG record in his Gold-winning 200m butterfly dash. South Africa’s Cameron van der Burgh held off a late challenge from England’s Adam Peaty to claim gold in the men’s 50m breaststroke final. Peaty, 19, was unable to add another gold to the 100m breaststroke gold he won on Sunday despite recovering from a poor start to push van der Burgh all the way to the finish. “I look forward to competing with Adam more often. He’s giving the old man a chase for his money,” van der Burgh, 26, told the BBC. “I remember the days when I was young and he’s fired me up. I’ve been complacent in the last two years.”
In the Lawn Bowls, South Africa bagged the gold in the women’s pairs, and women’s fours, and the men’s triples. Gwen Nel and Herman Scholtz won the Gold in the para-sport mixed pair lawn bowl event. Kenya’s main area of achievement was in the athletics. Kenya’s Flomena Cheyech Daniel has won the women’s marathon with a winning time of 2:26:45, just beating compatriot Caroline Kilel. “It really was the best and I hope to be there at the next Commonwealth Games,” said Daniel, 32, who led with Kilel for most of the race before breaking for victory in the final stages. “We were running together and trying to help one another.”
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Mercy Cherono won the gold medal in the women’s 5000m final, outracing her country’s Janet Kisa who took the silver. It was an all-Kenyan show in the men’s 3000m steeplechase — Jonathan Ndiku winning the gold, Jairus Birech the silver, and Ezekiel Kemboi Cheboi the bronze.
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In the men’s 10,000m, Josphat Kipkoech Bett had to settle for silver. Kenya’s Eunice Jepkoech Sum won the gold in the women’s 800m, and Purity Cherotich Kirui won the Women’s 3000m Steeplechase Final. Kenya rocked in the Women’s 10,000 metres final by bagging all the three medals; Joyce Chepkirui bagged the gold, while Florence Kiplagat took the Silver, and Emily Chebet settled for the Bronze, and Faith Chepngetich Kibiegon won the gold in Women’s 1500 metres final. Nigeria’s main success in the athletics came from Blessing Okagbare who won the Gold in the Women’s 100m Final, and Ese Brume won the Women’s long jump final. Okagbare featured in the team who took silver in the 4x100m final, and Nigeria also achieved a silver medal in the 4x400m final.
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Nigeria also triumphed in the powerlifting and weightlifting events. Nigeria’s Esther Oyema created a new world record by lifting 126 kg on way to her second gold medal in powerlifting.
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Another Nigerian, Loveline Obiji, shattered the world record while clinching the gold medal in the women’s heavyweight powerlifting, and the silver went to Nigeria’s Bose Omolayo. In the Women’s 75 kg Group A final of Weightlifting, Maryam Usman from Nigeria won the gold medal.
Uganda also had some successes in the athletics events, with Moses Kipsiro outracing his rivals to win gold in the men’s 10,000m, and Winnie Nanyondo took the bronze in the women’s 800m.
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