Last Friday we published the first part of our Top 10 African athletes for 2015. Let’s conclude the series by completing the countdown, so from 5 to 1, here are the top ranked African athletes this year.
5) Nicholas Bett:
Nicholas who?? Not much was known of the Kenyan, even after winning the national title with a Personal Best of 48.29s; it was a case of going to Beijing to make up the numbers, or so we thought. Okay he is known, but aside his Bronze at the African Championships in 2014, what more could really be said of him?
However months after the worlds, we now know Bett, not with the aid of a search engine, but by his exploits in Beijing where he won the 400m Hurdles title: the world surely took notice!
This is an event that is undoubtedly USA’s forte, but having a Kenyan win it was as surprising as it was unthinkable, considering that the East Africans are mainly known for their dominance in long distance events.
Bett defied the odds coming from Lane 9, showing that a good athlete can also win from difficult lanes. He shook off the challenge of Russia’s Denis Kudryavtsev to win in a time of 47.79s, the fourth fastest time by an African behind Zambia’s Samuel Matete (47.10s), Senegal’s Amadou Dia Bã (47.23s) and South Africa’s Louis van Zyl (47.73).
Bett is only the second African to win the 400m Hurdles world title after Matete achieved that feat in 1991.