•He further predicted that Kenya will soon be a force to reckon with in sprints
•South Africa finished second in 39.79 as Zimbabwe came third in 39.81
•Day three of the continental showpiece continued a trend of plentiful harvest for Team Kenya
Kenyan sprinter Dan Kiviasi was full of praise for his Maker after clinching gold in the men's 4x100m at the ongoing Senior Africa Athletics Championships in Reduit, Mauritius.
The quartet of Kiviasi, Mike Mokamba, Samwel Imeta and newly-crowned African 100m champion Ferdinand Omanyala produced a virtuoso performance, crossing the finish line in 39.28.
South Africa finished second in 39.79 as Zimbabwe came third in 39.81 on a sunny afternoon at Cote D'Or National Sports Complex.
"We came here to set personal bests and a national record for the 4x100m. We managed to set a national record and won especially considering we were up against South Africa, who are one of the best teams in the world. It is what it is...we are the African champions and we thank God for that," Kiviasi said.
He further predicted that Kenya will soon be a force to reckon with in sprints, paying tribute to his countryman Omanyala for the renewed interest in the race.
"The name Omanyala has motivated many people back home and in the coming years, we should expect to see more 'Omanyalas'. Kenya is coming up very fast not only in the middle and long-distance races but also the sprints," Kiviasi said.
His words were echoed by the man himself, who hailed his teammates and tipped them for greater things in the future.
"Things are changing now. The world should get used to seeing more sprinters from Kenya. Now we have a strong relay team and soon we will be on the world stage," Omanyala said.
Africa's fastest man is expected back on the track on Saturday as he bids for a second gold in the men's 200m.
However, Omanyala is tempering his expectations for a race he says he has not yet become accustomed to.
"I have not run in the 200m so much. My personal best is 20.03 but if I can run under that time then I will be really happy," he said.
Day Three of the continental showpiece continued a trend of plentiful harvest for Team Kenya as they, additionally, bagged a silver and two bronze medals.
In the men's 800m, Nicholas Kiplagat took silver after clocking 1:46.43, behind winner, Slimane Moula of Algeria, who timed 1:45.59.
Botswana's Tshepiso Maselela finished third in 1:46.65.
Despite the medal, Kiplagat admitted he was somewhat disappointed by the result.
"I feel good although I had wanted the gold medal. I am partly disappointed. Nonetheless, I appreciate the silver and now turn my focus on the next race. I have an event in Sweden and hope to perform better," Kiplagat said.
It was heartbreak for Kenya in the men's 3,000m steeplechase — in which the country has dominated for so long — as Amare Hailemariyam led a 1-2 Ethiopian finish in 8:27.38.
Takele Tadese came second in 8:28.31 as Kenyan Geoffrey Kirwa had to be content with bronze, clocking 8:29.74.
Veronicah Mutua also bagged Kenya's second bronze on the day, timing 52.76 in the women's 400m. Kenya has so far clinched four gold, two silver and three bronze.