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Ghana's sprints failure in Rio call to action

Ghana 4 X 100m W
The country’s 4 X 100m will race on Thursday
As the world hails the remarkable speed machine Usain Bolt and welcomes a new star in South African Wayde Van Nierkerk, Ghana is left to reflect on why the country has become so anonymous in sprints.
Janet Amponsah failed to make it out of the heats in the women 200m to complete the trio of heat failures after Flings Owusu Agyepong and Sean Safo-Antwi all bowed out of the 100m races for women and men respectively in the heats.
The athletes have found a positive spin on it and claim this is about gaining experience
“Clearly it wasn’t my best, just one of those things where I didn’t put my race together as well as I should have so I know right I’m better than 11.4sec,” said Flings.
“I’m a bit upset that I didn’t run faster but at the same time I know that I am faster than that right now so I’m just looking forward to it, I’m going to correct my mistakes in the relay and looking forward to do well in that.
“I will definitely say that it’s a great accomplishment being here, a lot of people don’t know this but even just qualifying, it took a lot there; a lot of years that we went close but not quite there so for me to be able to qualify and be here it’s amazing for me and just an experience I am not going to forget.”
Those who question the experience theory say the athletes are at an age when they should be competing for honours.
Flings is 26, Safo-Antwi is 25. It is, however, a valid point to be made about 14-year-old Kaya Forson and the 16-year-old Abeiku Jackson who became the first competitors in swimming for Ghana in Rio.
The failure in sprints in particular would worry many people given how Ghana used to be so strong in the field on the African continent.
Flings says the country needs long term planning to be successful at the games.
“We are still going to work hard after this and work on steps to make sure we all do what we are to do and then basically we are all going to make sure we are all running as fast as we can. I know that we can make the final and possibly and also we just going to live it all out in the track and give it our all.
“I think it’s hard, a lot of the rest of the world has programmes starting from elementary, they have a lot of clubs you can join they also support their athletes in terms of club, in terms of school they invest a lot into their sports so if Ghana wants to get the level that everyone is, we have to start investing, we have to start in young children because that is the only way we going to build it up.”
Source: 3 Sports
Twitter: @3SportsGH

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