Paris 2024: Joseph Paul Amoah reflects on 4x100m relay rivalry against Nigeria

Nigeria qualified alongside Ghana despite finishing second behind their rivals

Joseph Paul Amoah, the anchor leg runner in the recent 4x100m relay victory that secured Ghana’s qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, has spoken out about the longstanding rivalry between Ghana and Nigeria in the relay event.

The rivalry between the two West African nations dates back to the 12th African Games in Rabat, Morocco, where Ghana triumphed over Nigeria to claim the gold medal. However, Nigeria had their revenge during the 2023 African Games in Accra, where they emerged victorious in the 4x100m relay final.

In the recent World Athletics Relays in the Bahamas, Ghana seized a crucial opportunity to defeat Nigeria once again, clocking a Season Best time of 38.29s to secure their place at the Summer Games.

Amoah, speaking after the win emphasised the camaraderie between the two nations despite the fierce competition on the track.

“It’s always amazing. They are our brothers, and whenever anything we do on the track is done, we have that rivalry but when it’s done, we all come together,” he told Joy Sports.

Reflecting on their performance, especially after a setback in a previous race, Amoah expressed the team’s determination to succeed.

“We’re happy to get the win, and whatever happened yesterday, we needed to put it behind us, come out here today and execute the race, and we knew we were going to win,” he said.

Notably, Ghana had blown an earlier chance in their previous race where a setback in baton changeover caused it to drop ruling the West Africans out.

The quartet of Ibrahim Fuseini, Isaac Botsio, Benjamin Azamati, and Joseph Paul Amoah impressed with remarkable times as they stormed to victory in Heat 2 at the Thomas A Robinson National Stadium in Nassau.

Joseph Paul Amoah finished the race strongly with a split time of 9.12s after Benjamin Azamati had handed over with a time of 9.34s having taken over from Isaac Botsio (9.13). The struggle was however in the beginning when Ibrahim Fuseini handed over the baton with 10.69s.

Looking ahead to Paris 2024, the Ghanaian relay team is focused on making a mark and building on their previous success. Despite facing disqualification in the final at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, they set a national record and are eager to showcase their talent on the Olympic stage once again.

Meanwhile, Nigeria celebrated the win with Ghana as they came second in the race to qualify for the event as well.