GHANA’S 4x100m women relay team brought up the rear with a disappointing performance at the Olympic stadium yesterday to complete the nation’s ignominious campaign at the Rio Olympics.
Sprinters Flings Owusu-Agyapong, Janet Amponsah, Gemma Acheampong and Beatrice Gyaman who fashioned out what was supposed to be formidable quartet, crumbled like a pack of cards and finished last (in an eight-team heat one) race.
Nonetheless, though they failed to make it to the semis, it was not all sour for the Ghanaian ladies. The consolation was that they slightly improved on their season’s best timing of 43.72sec, and swaggered home with 43.37secs in the opening heat which was won by Jamaica (41.79secs).
Again, they perked up on their ranking from 15th to 13th.
The Nigeria relay team was in good shape in the second heat as they picked a ticket for the semis in a time of 42.55secs.
Ghana’s disappointing story did not end with the women relay team alone yesterday as javelin thrower John Ampomah, also failed to fling the 2.6-metre-long metal past the opening round as he finished 11th out of 18 competitors on Wednesday night.
The good news, however, is that the captain of Ghana’s Olympic team and 2015 All Africa Games silver medallist, made a significant improvement on his personal best of 76.50m as he recorded 79.09m in his first throw before finally finishing with 80.39m and placing 19th overall.
Competing in Group A, Trinidad & Tobago’s Keshorn Walcott had the biggest fling of the cold night, throwing as far as 88.68m. The Trinidadian, who is the defending Olympic champion, is the first black male athlete to win the gold medal in a throwing event in the history of the Olympics.
Ampomah broke onto the scene in 2012, wiping out the 19-year old national record with a throw of 69.00m in March 2012 in Tamale, before improving the record two more times at the African Championship, where he won silver, and at the 2012 rlg Grand Prix where he threw 73.69m.
Though he was not able to strike a dream medal for Ghana, he would certainly leave the Olympic stadium with his head held high.