Trouble is brewing in the athletics camp of the Ghana contingent to the All Africa Games in Congo Brazzaville even before their departure on September 1.
National javelin record holder John Ampomah has threatened to withdraw from the 2015 All Africa Games following the decision by the Minister of Youth and Sports to include 800m runner Martha Bissah in the team despite not qualifying for the games.
In selecting Bissah, the Minister Dr. Ahmed Mustapha overlooked the nation’s top ranked women’s 800m runner Agnes Abu who has run a season’s best 2.06.27m, but has yet to qualify for the games having failed to run the required A-standard mark of 2:01.6m or B-standard mark of 2:04.2m.
Bissah failed to qualify for the Games after recording 2:11.84 min at the just ended GAA Special All Africa Games qualifier at the El Wak stadium last Friday, having recorded a season’s best 2.08.27m on July 18.
John Ampomah, who has qualified for the games with a national record 81.55m, feels the decision to allow Martha to attend the games will be unfair.
In a post on his facebook page, he said:
“We have gone too far in sports to let this happen. If this is really going to happen then I am withdrawing from the upcoming games. It is not a personal attack on Martha Bissah because she has done a lot for the Ghanaian athletics by winning the first ever gold medal for Ghana under every level.
Consistent with its aim of providing fair and transparent selection standards for the national team, the Ghana Athletics Association has been releasing its selection criteria for major international competitions since 2010. The criteria set out the entry standards (both A and B) athletes have to meet before consideration for national assignments.
“She is truly important to our team but unfortunately she has not made this year’s qualification mark for these games. We have Agnes Abu who has even run a faster time than Martha yet she will not be going,” he added.