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Samimu is Ghana’s sole medal winner on disappointing final day of Africa Athletics Championship

Team Ghana’s aspirations for additional  medals on the concluding day of the African  Athletics Championships were thwarted, as just one  medal was secured out of a potential four.

On the final day of the six-day competition, Ghana’s high jumpers Cadman Evans Yamoah and Kennedy Ocansey, alongside 200m sprinters Abdul-Rashid Saminu and Mary Boakye, all harboured hopes of clinching podium finishes in their respective events.

Unfortunately, Saminu failed to pick a medal in the 200m finals, finishing fourth in a hotly-contested final.

Rain disruption

Harsh weather played a decisive role, as persistent rain disrupted proceedings for hours, necessitating adjustments in scheduling by event organisers.

The slippery conditions proved challenging for the high jumpers, particularly Ocansey and Yamoah, who faltered in their attempts to clear the 2.10m bar after starting at 2.0m. South Africa’s athlete, who cleared 2.15m on his third try, ultimately claimed victory.

Reflecting on the day’s events, Yamoah lamented, “It was risky attempting to take off. The tracks were slippery and two people slipped on the canvas.”

In the 200m event, Saminu faced stiff competition from Liberia’s Joseph Fambullah, who came from behind to seize the gold in 20.25 seconds. Saminu’s spirited effort ended with a fourth position behind Cameroun’s Emmanuel  Eseme, with Zimbabwe’s Tapiwanashe Makarawu securing silver.

Meanwhile, Boakye’s early promise in the  200m finals was marred by a faltering finish, as she relinquished her lead in the curve, allowing three competitors to surge ahead.

The event saw Cote d’Ivoire’s Jessika Lauren Maca Gbai and Maboundou Kone clinching gold and silver respectively, while Malawi’s Asimenye Sumwaka claimed bronze. Boakye finished fourth.

Despite the setbacks on the final day, Ghana concluded the championships with a respectable haul of four  medals — two gold, a silver and a bronze.

Ghana’s coach, Robert Dwumfuor, remained optimistic, highlighting the positives from the campaign and expressed confidence that the experience gained by the athletes, many of whom competed at the African Athletics Championships for the first time, would serve them well as they prepare for the next challenge in Accra in 2026.

Credit: Graphic Sports 

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