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Preview: Circuit Grand Finale

posted 10 Jun, 16 • Category: News • Comments: 0
The domestic track and field season reaches a climax this weekend with the Ghana Athletics Association set to host the Grand Finale of the National Circuit Championship at the newly built Cape Coast stadium on Saturday, 11th June, 2016.

The domestic track and field season reaches a climax this weekend with the Ghana Athletics Association set to host the Grand Finale of the National Circuit Championship at the newly built Cape Coast stadium on Saturday, 11th June, 2016.















The domestic track and field season reaches a climax this weekend with the Ghana Athletics Association set to host the Grand Finale of the National Circuit Championship at the newly built Cape Coast stadium on Saturday, 11th June, 2016.



The 15-event competition which will start at 4:00pm, will see the very best locally based athletes compete for final places while trying to secure places in the national team for the upcoming African Championships in South Africa and the Rio2016 Olympic Games.
Only the top 8 point scorers in each event across the season have been invited for the Circuit final with each event going into a straight final after four Circuit Championships were held at Bolgatanga, Koforidua, Sekondi and Accra earlier in the season.
The final spot in a few events where two or three athletes were tied for the 8th slot was determined by giving advantage to the athlete with the fastest time, or best throw over the season.
The Grand Finale will feature about 128 male and female athletes who will be battling for glory in straight finals in their respective events.
Final onslaught
The Circuit Finale is expected to witness fierce rivalries and competition among the best home based athletes including the reigning African Championship javelin silver medalist Mary Zuta Nartey, three-time All Africa Games and African Championships gold medalist Margaret Simpson.
Simpson leads the women’s javelin throw with 34 points and is closely followed in second place by Mary Zuta with 28 points after the latter missed the last Circuit Championships after going on tour with the national team in Columbia.
One of the most consistent athletes on the domestic circuit, Malik Yakubu is expected to confirm his superiority in the men’s 10,000m when he takes to the track for the final race having dominated the long distance events this season, accumulating 40 points and followed in second and third place by Godwin Adukpo and Joseph Yandal who both have 19 points respectively.
There will also be keen interest in the women’s high jump with the duo of Abigail Kwarteng and Regina Yeboah set to do battle one more time to determine who wins that event. Kwarteng, who jumped 1.77m (PB) earlier in the season, leads the standings with 32 points while Yeboah is second with 28 points.
Sprinter Shadrack Opoku Agyemang goes into the men’s 100m final event with a clear lead of 7-points ahead of his compatriots. Shadrack, who has won three out of the four Circuit Championships, has accumulated 36 points while Desmond Aryee and Emmanuel Yeboah follow in second and third with 29 and 28 points respectively.
Other athletes drawn from the ten regions, Security Services, Ghana Education Service, and will attempt to use the occasion to meet the GAA’s selection standards for the 20th African Championships and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Women’s 200m: The Most Unpredictable Race at the Circuit
By far, the women’s 200m final has proved to be the most unpredictable race in the 2016 GAA National Circuit Championships producing four different winners at four different venues.
2015 All African Games participant Dorcas Gyimah won the first leg of the Circuit 200m held at Bolgatanga but was dethroned by her teammate Cecilia Asekiya at the second leg in Koforidua.
Kate Agyeman surprised many when she clinched victory at the third leg at Sekondi but she suffered a similar fate when she was beaten by Josephine Anokye on the finish line at the Circuit 4th leg at Accra.
It remains to be seen who wins the final 200m race of the year at Cape Coast. It will take something special for any athlete to clinch the ultimate.
Meanwhile, Josephine Anokye leads the standings with 27 points, while Kate Agyeman and Dorcas Gyimah follow in second and third with 24points and 21 points respectively.
Four for 20th African Championships in Durban
Four locally based athletes have met the GAA’s qualifying standards for the 20th African Senior Championships to be held in South Africa 22nd-28th June.
The four include javelin thrower Mary Zuta Nartey (54.40m), triple jumper Deborah Acquah (13.34m), the high jump pair of Abigail Kwarteng (1.77m) and Regina Yeboah (1.76m).
A few others are expected to join the quartet at Saturday’s event.
International Presence
Meanwhile, there is an international dimension to the competition following the announcement that Ghana’s women’s 4x100m relay team will compete at that event.
The President of the Ghana Athletics Association (GAA), Prof. Francis Dodoo confirmed the news on Accra based radio station Starr 102.5 Fm on Wednesday when discussing the GAA’s final preparations for Rio 2016.
The GAA boss also disclosed that relay teams from Togo, Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso have also agreed to be part of the contest.
www.liquidsportsghana.com understands that for the results of the event to be valid for qualification purposes, athletics world governing body, the IAAF, requires a minimum of two different international teams, representing at least two countries, to compete in the race.
Gemma Acheampong, Flings Owusu-Agyapong, Akua Obeng Akrofi and Janet Amponsah- who are based in the USA-are presently in town for the show down.
Ghana’s quartet needs to run 43.71 to break into the top 16 rankings in the world and qualify for Rio.
The team’s average of two fastest times presently stands at 44.17s, having last recorded 43.72 to clinch silver at the 2015 All African Games and 44.62s at the 2015 Warri Grand Prix.
It will be recalled that Ghana’s team of Flings Owusu-Agyapong, Gemma Acheampong, Akua Obeng Akrofi and Janet Amponsah placed 7th at the Penn Relays in a time of 45.65 earlier this year.





Source: Ghana Athletics Association (GAA)

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