The Sensational Sprinter From Upper East – A Zeinab Awuni Story
Most of the Upper East Athletes are known in the middle and long distance events. But one lady is changing the face of the game and taking the sprint events to the next level. The sensational sprinter from Upper East – a Zeinab Awuni story.
Zeinab Awuni a.k.a. Paloma is a female young talented athlete from Bawku in Ghana, and a product of the O.J. Athletics Club in Ghana, West Africa. She is specialising in sprints, 100 metres, 200 metres, and 4 x 100 metres relay.
She was born at Asantekrom at Sefwi Wiawso district in the Western region. In 2013, She moved from Asantekrom to Nkawie at the Atwuma Nwabiagya South District in the Ashanti Region to stay with her Aunty.
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“In 2017, Atwuma Nwabiagya South District was having their Inter-School competition at Nkawie and that is where I spotted her and one Andy Agyemang, and I started following them since then.
After completion of Junior High School (JHS) in 2018, I talked to the P.E. master of T. I. Ahmadiyya Senior High School (SHS) and brought Zeinab and Andy to the school. The school gave them accommodation and fed them as well but then they were not their students. Interestingly, both Zeinab and Andy were Long and Triple Jumpers. So as we were training continuously, we started speed work and that is where I realised that Zeinab has many talents in the sprints than the jumps, I asked her to focus on the sprints” said Coach O. J.
The same year (2018) during the Inter-Districts competition at Baba Yara Sports Stadium at Kumasi and she was 2nd in 200m and 3rd in 100m races for Atwuma Nwabiagya South District.
She got the opportunity to join the Ashanti Regional Team to Koforidua for the Inter-Regional Junior High School Sports Festival.
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In 2019, during the Ashanti Regional Schools and Colleges Competition, she was the second-best sprinter after Grace Obour for T. I. AMASS – Kumasi in the girl’s division.
In 2020, she competed in the Ghana Athletics Association (GAA) Circuit Championship at Essipong Sports Stadium, Secondi-Takoradi in the Western Region, and that is where she did her personal best (PB) of 24.92s (et) in the women 200m.
After the Secondi-Takoradi competition then COVID-19 came and the government suspended school sports.
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In 2021, she competed in the Ghana Fastest Human at the University of Ghana Sports Stadium in Accra, Ghana. She then qualified to compete in the GRAND FINALE at Paa Joe Sports Stadium in Kumasi, Ashanti Region, and that’s where she did her personal best (PB) 100m – 12.26s (et) in the U18 girl’s division.
Coach O. J. on her closing remarks disclosed “Zeinab is a very calm girl, very respectful, always serious, and doesn’t joke with her training. She always listens to any instructions which will be given to her by her coach (Coach O.J.) “