Team Ghana places second in ECOWAS Games
Nigeria survived a late scare from a rejuvenated Ghanaian team on the last day to win the ECOWAS under 19 athletics championship.
History repeated itself as the Nigerians weathered the storm to hold on to their lead and win the second edition of the athletics competition.
The last day of competition witnessed outstanding performances from the Ghanaians.
Team Ghana, in dramatic fashion, won 4 Gold medals on the last day in a bid to outshine the Nigerians.
However, the improved performance in the track and field events was not good enough to turn the tide.
Janet Amponsah from the Ghana Police Service blazed the trail by winning the 200m sprint with time of 23:48. The time she recorded was her personal best.
This was an improvement on her previous time of (23:67 sec).
Janet is now few seconds away from qualifying for the Olympic Games next month in London. The required time needed for a place at the games is 23:24.
Isoken Igbineson and Goodness Thomas both Nigerians, came in second and third respectively.
She is however optimistic of making the time in subsequent competitions prior to the Olympic Games.
“I promise to qualify for the Olympics in Benin in the upcoming African Championship next week and later win a medal at the Olympics” she said, brimming with confidence in her eyes.
The Nigerians immediately fought back in the male division of the 200m. Briggs Tamunotoye (21:44 sec) and Jonathan Nmaju (21::55 sec) (100m winner) were first and second respectively.
Emmanuel Dasor was third with a time of 21:73 sec.
Agnes Abu took the fight back to the Nigerians by winning the 1500m women race in style to the admiration of spectators. She led the race from start to finish.
Ghana's Matteiu Nantiere was next to raise high the flag of Ghana by winning the 5000m.
His team mate, Prosper Goku who collapsed after the race was third. He later recovered and joined in the celebrations. Prosper did all the hard work by sprinting as a decoy to outwork Nigerian Emmanuel Gwon who won silver.
“We intentionally used this strategy to win the race and it worked. We wanted to show the Nigerians this is Ghana and he can't win here,” he said, with a smile on his face.
The Nigerians reacted to the Ghanaian resurgence in the field event of javelin.
Isfa Ferdinand won gold in the male category. Atsu Nyamadi of Ghana took the silver. Diedhino Sadibou of Senegal was the bronze medalist.
In the female division of the Javelin, Kyermaa Gifty of Ghana managed to win bronze. Zever Priscilla of Nigeria won silver.
Adanhoe Gbe Pascaline made Benin proud with a throw of 44.52m to win the javelin Gold medal.
Ghana was piped to the Gold by the Nigerians in the 4x4 women relay to confirm their superiority.
The Ghanaians won silver but were heartbroken they couldn't keep the momentum after a good start.
Their male counterpart managed to win the medal gold in their category to at least put some smiles on the faces of the Ghanaian supporters.
After four days of competition, Janet Amponsah was adjudged the best female athlete of the competition for winning the 100 and 200m.
Jonathan Nmaju of Nigeria was the best athlete in the male division for winning silver in the 200m and gold in the 100m dash.
Nigeria was declared the overall winners of the athletics competition. They won a total of 33 medals. 13 gold, 15 silver and 5 bronze.
Ghana bagged a total of 28 medals. 10 gold, 9 silver and 9 bronze.
Benin was third. They had 1 gold and 2 bronze.
All other participating countries won a medal or two with the exception of the Ivoirians; they ended the competition empty handed.