NAIROBI (AFP) The African athletics championships saw the emergence of talents particularly in the field events to raise hopes that new doors will open enabling the continent to excel at the 2012 Olympics. Ugandas Sarah Nambawa became the first athlete from the east African nation to win an African gold medal when she leaped to a new national record of 13.95m in the womens triple-jump. Nisrin Dinar won the womens pole vault for Morocco and Kenya, which entered competitors in every contest, ended up winning medals in sprints and field events, two areas where success has been very rare. Of the 47 countries which took part, 24 of them got at least one bronze medal and 28 national records were set during the five-day championships. The African Athletics Confederation (AAC) chief, Ahmed Kalkaba Malboum of Cameroon observed that the performances were not up to the world standards, but noted there was need for the African countries to encourage their athletes in taking part in the field events. The interest is there, he said. We need to push all the national federations to have their local and international development programme to participate with the competition because in future we are going to have formal development competitions starting for the youth, juniors to seniors. With support from the foreign technicians from Europe and United States, we are going to improve and make progress in those events. I think in two, three or five years, Africa will improve, he added. Kalkaba said the performance of the Algerian and Moroccan women athletes in winning the 800m and 400m hurdles was an indicator that Africa has a wealth of talent that needs to be tapped. We hope that in the London Olympic Games in 2012, Africa could bring up many other talents and we can achieve more than in Beijing. This is our expectation. Kalkaba also cited the meteoric rise of the Libyan hurdler Mohammed Khawaja, who won the mens 400m hurdles, to become the first ever athlete to win an African championship medal for the North African nation, and the countrys recent investment in their athletes. Earlier this year, Libya engaged former Nigerian athletics coach Tony Osheku to prepare its athletes for the 2011 world athletics championships in Daegu, South Korea and the London Olympics. Osheku, who accompanied the Libyan team to Nairobi, said he was impressed with the performance of Khawaja, who set a new national record of 44.98 seconds, in beating seasoned British-based Rabah Yousif of Sudan and former African champion and record holder, Gary Kikaya of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Khawaja is a very talented athlete. My aim has been to help him improve on his time and became the best 400m runner in Africa. He has succeeded in breaking the sub 45-seconds barrier, said Osheku. Khawaja, who is also the reigning Arab Games champion progressed from a modest 46.78 seconds in his heat, to a fast time of 45.42 in the semi finals. Kenya coach Stephen Mwaniki said the success of the team stemmed from a national training programme started three years ago. We are now seeing the results. With more investment from the government, we shall do well in the 2012 Olympic Games, said Mwaniki.