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24.02.2006 Sports News

Officials to mentor Simpson's successor

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Accra, Feb. 24, GNA - Athletics chiefs in the country are putting in place a contingency plan to mentor Elizabeth Amelofo of the Ghana Police Service and the current sprint queen in the 100, 200 and 400-meter events to takeover from Ghana's ace heptathlete Margaret Simpson within two years.

The tall athlete, who also competes in long jump, was one of the five local athletes selected before the trials in Lome, Togo, but she would need to master three other field events to qualify for the seven-discipline heptathlon.

After dominating her four preferred events, she also anchored the police team in the 4 by 100 relay race to win silver albeit after a shaky start.

The coaches' view was corroborated by Dr Emmanuel Owusu-Ansah, Director of Sports Development at the Ministry of Education and Sports who said with her height and technique, "just a little bit of push could make her one of the best on the continent."

Currently, Simpson is the only heptathlete in the country. She together with long jumper Ignatius Gaisah gave Ghana her first-ever medal at the World Athletics meet in Helsinki, Finland last year. She won bronze while Gaisah was a silver medalist.