When the Ministry of Youth and Sports released an amount of $84,990 for the nine Ghanaian athletes to represent the nation at the 2017 World Athletics Championship in London, Ghanaians were buzzing about the prospect of a podium finish for their prized athletes.
The 16th edition of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) is being held at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, the home of our colonial masters, and the hope of making history with a country which has close ties with Ghana was raised high.
However, these hopes were dashed by another abysmal display by our athletes leaving team Ghana with more questions than answers ahead of the next Olympics.
Ignatius Gaisah’s silver in the long jump at Margaret Simpson’s bronze in heptathlon both in Helsinki 2005 remains our best performance in the 21st century
With that in mind, we assess the performance of our athletes at the event.
The triple jumper based in the United State of America won Gold for Ghana at the African Championship in 2014 and holds the record for both indoor and outdoor triple jump events. She qualified for the World championship as the African women’s triple jump champion having clinched Gold at the 2016 Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) championship in South Africa.
The 24-year-old went into the IAAF Championship ranked 34th in the world and so participating in the event meant she was going to do her best to improve her personal record but she failed to qualify for the women’s triple jump as she came 23rd with 13.54 meters instead of the qualifying mark of 12.20 meters which saw her bow out of the competition at the early stage.
Janet picked the qualification at the War Eagle Invitational Meet in the USA, where she clocked a time of 23.10s in the women’s 200m final and has also represented Ghana at various events but failed to perform.The Ghanaian sprinter made her debut at this year’s World championship as she missed out at the World Championship in China after being denied an entry visa. She went into this competition ranked 25th in the world.Janet came 4th in the heat of the women's 200m with a time of 23.77 seconds where she hoped to make it to the next round as one of the fastest losers but failed to make it to the next stage.
The 22-year-old qualified for the Championship posting a personal best, 45.43s at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) D1 event earlier in the season.Dasor has represented Ghana at both continental and world championships since winning bronze in the men’s 4*100m at the 2015 All Africa Games.Dasor went into the IAAF competition ranked 41st in the World but failed to participate in the 6th heat of the men’s 400m due to a knee injury.
Alex Amankwaah had a national record of 1min: 44.80 seconds in 800metres earlier in the year which secured him qualification to the championship.It was the second time that Amankwaah qualified for the IAAF World Championship but made his first appearance after missing out on the 2015 edition in China after being denied entry visa.
The 25-year-old went into the competition with many Ghanaians hoping he could win a medal for team Ghana but failed to do so as he finished 4th in the men’s 800m with a time of 1:47:22.
With Tokyo 2020 in sight, a great deal of work is needed to represent a formidable team to represent team Ghana at the Olympics.