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