It's a controversial decision to select Martha Bissah for CWG Birmingham 2022 - Erasmus Kwaw

It’s a controversial decision to select Martha Bissah for CWG Birmingham 2022 – Erasmus Kwaw

Muftawu Nabila of Multi TV just asked me in a live interview what I thought about the selection of Martha Bissah for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games? I said it’s a good decision politically. But it’s also a controversial decision because she did not qualify for the CWG and is not in good form. She clocked 4:37.11 in her only 1500m event this year, according to World Athletics. The GAA’s selection criteria for the CWG are 1:59.50 (800m) and 4:25.89 (1500m).

It is a situation that is going to lead to others questioning why they were not selected or given a special dispensation to make the team. Well, it would be Bissah’s second appearance at the friendship games having attended the 2014 Glasgow Games in the lead-up to her heroic display at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympics. She did not qualify for Glasgow 2014 too. Second time lucky!

But I equally know other athletes like Duncan Agyemang, who clocked 45.80s in the 400m, a B qualifying time for the CWG, may have mixed feelings about this decision. Mind you, I have not asked Duncan’s view on this.

I am really happy the home-based sprinters Barnabas Aggerh (10.29s) and Abdul Rasheed Saminu(10.31s) are on the men’s 4x100m relay team. They are the two fastest home-based sprinters this year and deserve to be on the team.

Plus, another home-based sprinter Mary Boakye (11.56PB) is part of the women’s 4x100m relay team alongside Winneba-based Gifty Oku (11.75PB). Mary is the fastest Ghanaian female athlete this year. When was the last time a home-based athlete achieved that feat?

The fact though remains, that none of the ladies qualified for the CWG, per the GAA’s own selection standards. So the women’s 4x100m team is an experimental team. I back the decision to give them this exposure at the CWG though. Well deserved.

But we have to ask: what is the essence of selection criteria for athletes in the first place?

It is a useful question to ask.

Source: Erasmus Kwaw on Facebook

By Athleticshour

Sekyere Richard has had a 10-year involvement in the sport of athletics. He holds a Degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering. Sekyere has experienced the sport as a middle/distance athlete, coach, and now journalist and blogger. Sekyere has published several articles on athletics from Ghanaian Athletics to World Athletics. He currently owns and manages the content and the marketing development of Athletics Hour. "I am passionate about sports, love writing and interviewing, traveling, and meeting new athletes and coaches. I like to expose the hidden talents in the youth and I am always in search of talents across Ghana". I have volunteered in one of the biggest ultra-marathons in the world "Elton Ultra Marathon in Russia. Covered many races in Ghana including ECOWAS CAA Region II Championship and multiple road and track races in Ghana. In 2021, he launched the "Better Ghana Athletics Agenda", which will help support the race organisers, athletes and coaches in all directions.

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