When Ghana’s sole representative in the women’s 200m race at the Rio Olympics, Janet Amponsah, takes her turn at the Estádio Olímpico João Havelange tracks this morning at 9.35am (12:35 GMT), only one thing will be embossed on her mind: improve on her personal best record.
The 23-year-old, who won silver at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, has a personal best of 22.99 secs, and would be facing huge names like Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell-Brown, Dina Asher-Smith of Great Britain, Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria, Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands, Canada’s Andre De Grasse and probably the biggest one of the moment – Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson, who won the women’s 100m finals at the games on Saturday night.
In snatching gold, the 24-year-old Thompson ended the eight-year Olympic reign of her training partner and compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in the thrilling final in a stunning 10.71 – the second-fastest winning time in the history of the women’s Olympic 100m final.
Fraser-Pryce had to settle for bronze in 10.86.
Even though Janet might not be running in the same heat with Thompson, this morning’s contest is absolutely a Himalayan undertaking for the ‘poor’ girl but she has no other option than to rub shoulders with some of the finest generation of athletes in the 200m event.
However, if she makes an unlikely berth to the semis which would be ran tomorrow night, with the final on Wednesday at 10.30pm local time (1.30am GMT), then Janet’s name will surely be embedded in gold in Ghana – even if she wins nothing for her effort.
Whilst Janet is planning to do her damndest this morning, her male compatriot in the 200m, Emmanuel Dasor, would also attempt to challenge himself to a good run in the opening heats of the race at 11.50 am (14:50 GMT) tomorrow.
Dasor set a personal record in this event with 10.41 seconds last year at an international championship and would look forward to making a tremendous improvement in an event whose final will be staged on Thursday.
On Saturday, Ghana’s men 100m sprinter, Sean Safo-Antwi, finished sixth in the first heat in a time of 10.43, to crash out of the campaign.