Any form of complacency is the kiss of death for any professional.
Ghana’s quartet team [men] – Sean Sarfo-Antwi, Benjamin Azamati-Kwaku, Joseph Oduro Manu, and Joseph Paul Amoah returned from the 2021 World Athletics Relays in Silesia, Poland last week with good news having qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Team Ghana ran 38.79 seconds [.790 m/s], finishing second to the Netherlands in heat 2 at the Chorzów Stadium on Saturday, May 1, earning them automatic qualification to the summer Olympics.
As if that was not enough, the Ghana 4x100m relay team mustered a sizzling performance at the Silesian Stadium in Chorzów on Sunday, May 2 to win bronze, but for disqualification.
This positive news is however gradually turning into a curse for the Ghana Athletics Association [GAA] and the Ghana Olympic Committee [GOC] ahead of the summer Games.
The Ghana Athletics Association has every right to jubilate over the success of the men’s quartet team, but while at it, they should also bear in mind that the Silesia event is just one of the few dress rehearsals to the main Olympic Games.
In fact, it is interesting to note here that Team Ghana went into the World Athletics Relays with no back-ups. What this means is that if any of the athletes had sustained injury, Ghana couldn’t have even present a team adequate enough to compete at all.
The team went through some turbulent times on the road to Silesia, including lack of adequate preparations and late arrival. So commending the team is in right order, but it’ll also be naive on anybody’s part to think that our performance in the Poland event is good enough to win us an Olympic medal in Japan.
Banterifically speaking the chances of Ghana’s qualification to the 2020 Olympics Games was brightened in Poland by the absence of sprint powerhouses such as Jamaica, Great Britain, and the United State due to coronavirus travel restrictions.
Even without the suspended Christian Coleman in the midst, Team USA can still boast of a strong medal winning squad – Noah Lyles, Michael Rodgers, Trayvon Bromell, and the most experienced Justin Gatlin.
Great Britain on the other hand have got one of the fiercest 4x100m relay teams in the world today with the likes of Adam Gameli, Zharnel Hughes, Richard Kilty, and Nathaniel Mitchell-Blake.
Known for producing great sprinters and the current gold medalists in the men’s 4x100m relays [Rio Olympics], Jamaica will go to Japan without the greatest sprinter of all-time [Usain Bolt] but their current team – Yohan Blake, Kemar Bailey-Cole, Nesta Cater, Julia Forte, Nigel Ellis, Oshane Bailey, and Asafa Powell have got what it takes to finish on the medal podium.
After releasing a press statement pregnant with soft jabs to the Ghana Olympic Committee, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Athletics Association [Bawa Fuseini] granted an interview with UTV Ghana to further stoke fire in the GAA vs. GOC thug of war, stating that their letter to the GOC was not acknowledged to start with let alone receiving any monetary support from the mother body.
“Prior to embarking on our journey to Poland, three letters [to the Ministry, NSA, and the GOC] were prepared by myself.
“The National Sports Authority promised to give us air tickets for the World Athletics Relays which they did, the Ministry of Youth and Sports also promised to give us $10,000 and they also fulfilled their part of the bargain, but we are yet to hear from the Ghana Olympic Committee,” Bawa Fuseini said.
Did the GOC not give you [GAA] money? Romeo quizzed.
“No, the GOC did not give us money with regards to the World Athletics Relays.
“In fact, the GOC did not even acknowledged our letter to them,” said Bawa Fuseini.
The way to go
Meanwhile, Bawa Fuseini believes that for Ghana to go and make a mark in Japan the team would have to be worked on, hence a training camp in Europe for six or eight weeks will go a long way to shaping them up ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
“We’ll like to camp the athletes in Europe for six to eight weeks because there are a lot of competitions in Europe and the registration is less expensive than the US,” he told UTV Ghana.
“If we are able to camp them in Europe and give them the necessary training I believe they can win us at least a medal,” Mr. Bawa added.
Apart from the men’s 4×100 relay team, three other Ghanaian athletes – Nadia Eke [Triple Jumper], Joseph Paul Amoah [100m], and Benjamin Azamati-Kwaku [100m and 200m] have also qualified for the Japan 2020 Olympic Games to be held in Tokyo from Friday, July 23 to Sunday, August 8, 2021.
Winning an Olympic medal does not come by an accident. It takes a lot of planning and support to realize it so it’s about time the Ghana Athletics Association and the Ghana Olympic Committee let sleeping dogs lie and come together to master a cogent plan worthy enough to help the nation win at least a medal in the upcoming Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
I would like to sign off here for a cup of tea, but before I do, let me quickly remind the GAA that sometimes success needs interruption to regain focus and shake off complacency so I hope this piece of ‘noise’ from me will be taken in good faith.