Hugues Fabrice Zango eyes world title after retaining African triple jump crown

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Hugues Fabrice Zango jumping during the Paris Diamond League eventTriple jumper Hugues Fabrice Zango won Burkina Faso's first ever Olympic medal in Tokyo last year

Hugues Fabrice Zango says retaining the African triple jump title could help steer him to victory at the World Championships in Oregon next month.

The 28-year-old defended his continental crown with a season's-best jump of 17.34m in Mauritius, beating the 17.23m African Championships record that was set in 1998 by Ghana's Andrew Owusu.

However, his distance will not count as a record because of windy conditions at the Cote d'Or Stadium on Saturday.

"It was not about recording a high mark, it was about winning," Zango said.

"Each competition is like a training session because the final objective is winning at the World Championships in Eugene.

"We needed to tick some boxes before arriving at the World Championships, and the first box was winning the Africa Championships because we needed to relearn how to win.''

It is Burkina Faso's second gold at this year's African Championships, following Marthe Koala's win in the women's long jump on Friday.

After taking bronze at the 2019 World Championships and the Tokyo Olympics last year, Zango will be looking to move up the podium when he lines up in Eugene.

His jump in Mauritius places him second in the world this year, behind the 17.64m posted by Cuba's Andy Diaz last month.

"This was my first big competition since Tokyo as I was struggling with an injury, so it's encouraging and comforting that my body is picking up at the right time," Zango said.

"I am hoping to soon do a 17.50, which will give me an indication that I can easily jump 18 metres."

Botswana's Thalosang Tshireletso, who won long jump gold on Thursday, was a distant second with 16.77m while Algeria's Yasser Triki took bronze with a jump of 16.58m.

South Africa sweep javelin but Omanyala misses triple crown

Kenya's Beatrice Chebet (left) and Caroline Nyaga (right) compete in the women's 5000m finalKenya's Caroline Nyaga (right) won the African 10,000m title after compatriot Beatrice Chebet (left) took gold in the 5,000m on Thursday

On a day where five gold medals were up for grabs, South Africa cemented their medal table lead in style with Jo-ane van Dyk leading a podium sweep in the women's javelin, finishing well ahead of Mckyla van der Westhuizen and Jana van Schalkwyk with a throw of 60.65m.

Nigeria's Oyesade Olatoye won the women's hammer, with her winning distance of 63.67m just 19cm ahead of second-placed Zouina Bouzebra of Algeria, while Egypt's Rawan Barakat picked up bronze.

Medhi Amar Rouana led a one-two for Algeria in the men's pole vault with a height of 5.30m as Hichem Khalil Cherabi took silver ahead of South Africa's Hendrik van Wyk.

In the only track final of the day, Kenya added the 10,000m women's gold medal to its tally and will go into the final day of the Championships ranked second in the medal table.

Caroline Nyaga edged out her East African counterparts to win in 32 minutes and 13 seconds ahead of Uganda's Rachael Chebet and Meseret Gebre Dekebo of Ethiopia.

Meanwhile, Ferdinand Omanyala's dream of winning three gold medals at the Championships ended after the Kenyan was eliminated in the first round of the 200m.

The 26-year-old had won the 100m title on Thursday and helped his country to the 4x100m title a day later.

"I came for three gold medals but I am proud of what I have achieved in this championship," Omanyala said.

"It's now time to focus on the World Championships."

Botswana's Letsile Tebogo got his redemption in the 200m where he easily qualified for the final, and will be favourite for the title on Sunday.

The country's 4x100m relay team was disqualified in the final on Friday.

Elsewhere, South Africa's Prudence Sekgodiso safely progressed to the final of the women's 800m.

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