Ghana’s 4x100 metres relay team have already qualified for the Olympic Games but will be seeking continental glory in Douala
Ghana’s 4x100 metres relay team have already qualified for the Olympic Games but will be seeking continental glory in Douala

African Athletics Championship: Ghana's last hope for Paris 2024 Olympic slots

As the 2024 Olympic Games approach, Ghana’s aspirations for representation in Paris now rest solely on the shoulders of its athletes, following the failure of both the nation’s boxing and football teams to qualify.


In a last-ditch effort, Ghana’s track and field stars will compete at the Japoma Stadium in Douala, Cameroun, over the next few days, vying for the remaining Olympic slots against other African contenders as the June 30 qualification deadline approaches.

The revised qualification criteria, which aim to ensure that only the best athletes make it to the Paris Games, saw Ghana's football and boxing teams fall short. This has left athletics as the country’s final chance to fly the national flag at the centennial celebration of the Olympics taking place from July 23 to August 8.

Despite these setbacks, Ghana has already seen some success in athletics. Six athletes have secured their spots in three events: the men’s 4x100m relay team, and the women’s high jump with Rose Amoanimaa Yeboah making history as Ghana’s first female field athlete to qualify for the Games, and Abdul Rashid Saminu, who clinched a 200m slot with a remarkable run at the NCAA Division 1 championships in the USA last month.

Determined to bolster this representation, Ghana Athletics has assembled one of its strongest teams for the 2024 African Championships in Douala. Their mission is clear: to increase the number of qualified athletes and ensure Ghana’s presence in Paris.

Qualifying for athletics involves meeting set standards, with each National Olympic Committee (NOC) permitted to enter up to three athletes per individual event. The International Olympic Committee and World Athletics have established a dual qualification system where 50 per cent of slots are awarded based on entry standards and the remaining 50 per cent on world rankings within the qualifying period from July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2024.

Ghana's Olympic qualifiers

Ghana has already secured spots for six athletes in three events:

Men’s 4x100m Relay Team: Ibrahim Fuseini, Isaac Botsio, Benjamin Azamati, and Joseph Paul Amoah secured their spot with a season-best time of 38.29 seconds at the World Athletics Relays in the Bahamas.
Women’s High Jump: Rose Amoanimaa Yeboah made history by becoming the first Ghanaian female field athlete to qualify, clearing 1.97 meters.

Men’s 200m: Abdul Rashid Saminu earned his place with a remarkable run of 20.12 seconds at the NCAA championships.

Now, Team Ghana is keen to increase the numbers either way during the Douala 2024 Championships. Ghana is particularly hopeful for the women's 4x100m relay team which has shown significant promise. Other events with strong prospects include the women's 100m hurdles, men's 100m and 200m, and men's high jump.

US-based athletes Deborah Acheampong and Hor Halutie are aiming for success in the 100m, while Mary Boakye and Anita Afriyie are competing in the 200m. Evonne Fatimah Britton, who previously won silver at the World Under-20 Championships for the USA and switched nationality to Ghana this April, will compete in the women's 100m hurdles.
Ghana's coach, Robert Dwumfuor, is hopeful about the athletes' potential due to their consistent performances in the last few months. 

“I believe we can push for a place either through the entry standard or by ranking. Particularly for the women’s relay team, our current time is 43.90 secs and with a little push, we can do 43.73 secs and earn a place.
He also sees potential in high jumpers Cadman and Kennedy who are targeting the 2.33-metre mark.

“Clearing the 2.33m is possible. Hopefully, we can get that outcome for both of them,” Coach Dwumfuor told the Daily Graphic.

Competition across Africa

Ghana is not alone in the quest for slots in the Olympic Games so far as track and field events are concerned. Many other African athletes are also  vying for slots and beyond the Olympic qualification, there is also the quest for African glory, resulting in a good star representation in Douala.

Among the standout athletes who have already picked Olympic slots but chasing continental glory in Douala are Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan, the women's 100m hurdles world-record holder; Cote d’Ivoire’s four-time Olympian Marie-Josee Ta Lou, as well as Botswana’s Letsile Tebogo, 100m silver medallist at the 2023 World Championship.

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