Ghana declines participation in AYAC 2013

Ghana will not be sending her junior athletes to the maiden African Youth Athletics Championship to be held March 27-31, 2013 in Warri, Delta State, Nigeria.

The five-day event under the auspices of the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) targeted athletes between the ages of 16-17 years, but the Ghana Athletics Association (GAA) has declined participation at least for now.

According to the Ghana News Agency, after the country missed the March 4th deadline for the confirmation of participating countries, GAA General Secretary Hussein Bawah said that their primary concern is the African Junior Athletics Championship scheduled for June in Pretoria, South Africa.

Mr Bawah also said the South African event, designed for athletes between the ages of 18 and 19 years, will serve a better preparatory ground towards their quest of raising a strong team for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

He said that the nation had amassed several medals at similar youth championships only to churn out contrasting performances at major events, citing the last African Athletics Championship in Porto-Novo, Benin.

“We participated at a similar championship in Senegal two years ago and returned with 16 medals. But when we went to African Championship, there was no better performance from some of these athletes.

“Our concentration is to prepare very well for the African Junior Athletics Championship as our aim is to get athletes who will mature and be in their prime for the 2016 Olympic Games where we are hoping to make a huge impact.”

Bawah however said that Ghana may participate in future events, in line with their objective of building a rock solid team at all levels.

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