Track & Field News of Friday, 15 June 2012
Ghanaian sprinter Laryea Akrong-Allah missed qualification to the London 2012 Olympics by 0.02 secs after winning the men’s 100m final on the opening day of the National Athletics Championship at the El-Wak Sports stadium.
The Utah based athlete blitzed a quality field that included the nation’s top sprinters and in the process set a personal best of 10.27 secs, just short of the 10.25 secs required as the B standard time for the Olympic Games.
Emmanuel Appiah-Kubi came third in a time of 10.44 while Tim Abeyie took third place clocking 10.47.
This was the clearest indication yet that the country’s athletes mean business on the opening day of the championship which has brought together both foreign and locally based athletes for the first time this year.
When asked by www.liquidsportsghana.com whether he realised how close he had come to qualifying for the Olympics, Allah Laryea Akrong acknowledged that that had been his main aim all throughout.
“I do. That is the goal,” he said adding that “I want to get as much closer to the Olympic qualifier as much as possible in every race.”
“Today, I’m that close and that means I have to put in a little bit more work, focus more and get ready to run well in the African Championship and in any other meet that comes up.”
Allah Laryea-Akrong expressed joy at his new achievement adding that, "I got my personal best (pb) start in 29 years and I’m happy to be here."
“I have always been told by my coach: get out there and give immediate separation. So that is exactly what I did. I did the race the way I was supposed to and the result showed.”
Akrong also revealed to www.liquidsportsghana.com that his father watched him for the first time in his career during the 100m final meet and says he (Akrong) plans to do much better next time around: “it’s hard work. You cannot believe and not work it. So you have to believe and with faith, you can get a step closer. Even if I make the A standard, it will be worth it.”
Meanwhile, veteran sprinter Vida Anim beat Flings Owusu Agyapong in a close contest in the women’s 100 meter final. Anim only just beat her young compatriot on the finish line and it took the photo finish to separate the pair who went neck to neck from start to finish.
The new photo finish did however indicate that Vida had taken first place in a time of 11.64 with Flings in second position in a time of 11.65 while Janet Amponsah came third with 11.69.
The competition continues on Friday, 15th June, 2012.