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Track & Field News of Thursday, 28 February 2008

Source: GNA

Ghana cannot host international athletics until ..

Accra, Feb 28, GNA - Ghana may not be able to host any international athletics competition at any of the newly constructed stadiums because of the absence of warm-up tracks - a major criteria used by the International Amateur Athletics Association (IAAF) for hosting of international championships.

Tartan tracks at the Tamale, Kumasi and Sekondi stadiums have not been provided with warm-up tracks, a facility used by athletes for warm up before the main event on the tracks.

Mr Sandy Osei-Agyeman, Chairman of the Ghana Athletics Association (GAA)) told the GNA Sports in an interview in Accra that the absence of the warm-up tracks at the three new stadiums is a major hindrance to the nation's attempt at hosting international athletics events. Warm up tracks are major requirement for international competition under the IAAF rules and regulations.

Mr Osei-Agyeman said even though the country has received an official invitation from the Confederation of Africa Athletics (CAA) to host the All Africa Junior Athletics Championships in 2011, this might not materialize if the facilities are not provided by then. According to the Chairman, the absence of the facilities will in no way affect athletics in the country since the hosting of more international events will help in the development and promotion of athletics in the country.

He noted however that the present situation could be rectified since the three stadiums have adequate space for the construction of such a facility.

Mr Osei-Agyeman said the nation will be in a better position to host the Youth Championship in 20111, if the warm up tracks are provided. According to the GAA boss, presently the nation can only manage minor championships between two or three countries. This, he said include national championships and three nation athletics competitions.

Mr Osei-Agyeman expressed the hope that the appropriate authorities such as the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports, the National Sports Council and other stakeholders would take steps to ensure that the facilities are made available at the venues.