Athletes show class at GAA’s National Circuit Championships

The Ghana Athletics Association (GAA) on Saturday held the first leg of its National Circuit Championships at the Essipun Sports Stadium in the Western Region.

The event, an exercise to prepare athletes for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, attracted hundreds of athletes from the regions, security services, universities and the Ghana Education Service (GES).

Coming after the announcement of a $12,000 sponsorship boost from the Ghana Maritime Authority by the GAA, athletes appeared motivated, culminating in the number of improved performances, dramatic finishes and the great come backs recorded.

The climax of the day’s championship was the manner sprinter Sarfo Ansah stormed to victory in the 100m final in time of 10.49s to beat Barnabas Aggerh 10.51s and Fuseini Ibrahim 10.53s in second and third positions. 

400m runner Gad Owusu clocked a life time best 46.76(PB) to win the 400m final.

Elsewhere, sprinter Kate Agyemang showed great form to stop the clock at 23.92s to win the women’s 200m race.  Kate’s teammate from the UDS, Rafiatu Nuhu, came second in a time of 24.08s while Ashanti Region’s Anita Afrifa followed in third place with 24.57s.

Charles Baah produced a last minute effort to snatch first place from St. Augustine’s teenage sensation Sadiq Aloo in the 1500m final followed by Sadiq in 3:56.55 while University of Cape Coast’s Daniel Abotsi Gawuga took third place in 3:58.02.

Ghana Armed Forces’ Barnabas Dompey won a thrilling contest with his rival Eric Annobil to claim first place in the 110m hurdles final a time of 14.50s. Annobil was second best with 14.70s. 

Ashanti Region’s Grace Kumbattu upstaged the experienced Sakat Lariba to claim a memorable first place and a personal best 2:10.99(PB) in the women’s 800m final.  

Three-time Olympian Raphael Botyso Nkegbe and a group of para athletes and wheelchair specialist put on a show for the spectators at the stadium. 

Raphael, who has qualified to participate in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, claimed a hat trick of wins in the100m, 200m and 400m finals. 

He won the 100m in a time of 15.01s, followed by his protégés Maclean Atsu Dzidzienyo in 17.33s, Yakubu Abukari in 17.66 and Ayishetu Seidu in 19.50. 

In the para men’s 100m final, Western Region’s Emmanuel Kwaku Acquah edged Samson Kofi to first place with a 12.68s clocking. Kofi Samson took second in 12.70s while Bernard Doudo came third 12.79s. There were further exhibitions in the para javelin throw event and para 400m events.

In a closing address to athletes and officials, a Vice President of the GAA, Mr Ababu Afielek thanked the GMA for sponsoring the circuit championships, and urged the athletes to continue to work hard.

The next leg of the Circuit will be held in Tamale on April 4 and it will be preceded by the GAA’s Open Championships on March 21 in Kumasi. 


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