Joseph Paul Amoah qualifies for 200m finals at Commonwealth Games 2022

Ghana, the land of high expectations but low investments

Ghana, the land of high expectations but low investments – I had a very interesting interview on Dunkwa- Offin based Solar FM last Saturday. One of the panelist in the radio station told me that is it possible our leaders don’t invest much into athletics because Ghana has a comparative advantage in football? I shot back: how many medals has the Black Stars won at the FIFA World Cup?

I continued: how many medals has the national athletics team won at the World Championships – the equivalent of the FIFA World Cup? The answer is two: Ignasius Gaisah’s silver and Margaret Simpson’s bronze at the 2005 World Championships. Now, I tried to interrogate what he meant by ‘comparative advantage’ in football, then how come the success in athletics but not football? Athletics has won more medals continentally than football’s 4 AFCON trophies. Infact, boxing is our biggest sport

You see I had another lively discussion with an elderly statesman this morning on Ghana’s performance at the ongoing WC. The moment I asked him what he thought about Azamati and Joe Paul’s outings, he told me not to try and do any analysis on the duo. His reason being: Ghana has not invested much into the boys to be demanding performances from them. He told me how gov’t pays bonuses in the region of $5,000 to players at pre AFCON friendly games, per diem allowances, top class hotels and others. He asked me: did the State fund a pre-World Cup camp for the athletes? Were the boys paid for qualifying to the WC? What are the incentives once they progress or win something at Oregon 2022? Answers NO!!!

Now, Joe Paul is the next to compete in the 200m heats. His season’s best 20.57s ranks him lowest in heat 1. His PB ranks him 4th best in the heat. There are 3 automatic places up for grabs. What happens when he progresses? Plus, the men’s 4x100m relay have not competed together since their heroics (38.08 NR) at Tokyo 2020. Do we know how Deborah Acquah and Alex Amankwah qualified and prepared for Oregon 2022?

Yes, we can analyse the individual mistakes of the athletes and make suggestions. But before criticising the athletes at Oregon 2022, try and get the full context of the issues at stake.

Source: Liquid Sports Ghana

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