The 3-day U-18 and U-20 Region II Championship organised by the Ghana Athletics Association with support from the World Athletics and Confederation of African Athletics ended successfully at the Cape Coast sports Stadium last Sunday.
The championship held from 19th to 22nd May, 2022 was aimed at unearthing young athletes to represent Ghana and the continent at the upcoming youth championship in Columbia, Cali in August.
9 countries participated in the event which includes, Burkina Faso, Niger, Togo, Benin, Liberia, Mali, Senegal, Cote D’Ivoire and Ghana as host.
Team Ghana after some stunning displays in all events came first with a total of 43 medals, 26 Gold, 23 Silver and 5 Bronze medals respectively.
Young sensation, Solomon Hammond qualified Ghana for the youth championship in Columbia with a time of 10.59 in the U-20 men’s 100m.
In the U-20 200m men, Solomon Odonkor also clinched gold with a time of 21.13
Abigail Abugure came top with 02:12.8 in the 800m of the women’s U-18 category.
Sarah Koomson showed class as she grabbed the gold medal in the U-20 women’s 5000m with 17.08.6
In an interview with the president of the Ghana Athletics Association, GAA, after the event, Mr. Aflebiek Ababu stated at he is delighted at the young athletes performances.
He stated that the association would work closely with these crop of young athletes for any future international competitions.
“It has given us an eye opener to the level of our athletes and what we should do to get them to the highest level. Their performance in this competition has been very good and they have won a lot of medals but that should not be the end but rather a booster for us to engage more resources into training and keeping the athletes together and building their capacities.
“…Our main aim is to get a crop of athletes that will replace those we have now so that we have a good succession. As the current crop of athletes fade out we should have athletes that will take the steps and we are happy that we have got the creme of them, so we need to develop them,” he said.
He revealed plans outlined by his outfit for the young athletes to enable them gain the needed experience and exposure.
“As we have finished with this competition, we will take all necessary steps to ensure that the good ones that we have now, we put them together camp, train and get them good coaches and monitor their progress so that come next year during the African games, we will get a majority of our athletes from this group,” the president of GAA, Mr. Aflebiek Ababu stressed.
With regards to the upcoming Commonwealth games in Birmingham this year, Mr. Ababu also disclosed that, the GAA is planning of including local athletes in order to create more exposure and to gain more experience.
Solomon Hammond, winner of the U-20 men’s 100m also stated that he is optimistic and poised to make a mark on the international front.
Burkina Faso came second with 37 medals, 16 Gold, 14 Silver and 7 Bronze followed by Cote D’Ivoire with 23 medals, 4 Gold, 8 Silver and 11 Bronze.