The 2018 Edition of the IAAF Continental Cup gets underway in Ostrava, The Czech Republic this afternoon.
The 1st event will be the Women’s Hammer Throw at 12:30GMT, followed closely by the Men’s High Jump final at 12:35GMT but Ghanaian interest will be in the Women’s 100m final when Janet Amponsah takes to the track at the scheduled time of 13:15GMT.
As the name suggests, this is an inter-continental competition, with each athlete representing their continent rather than their individual countries.
Janet Amponsah earned the right to proudly represent her continent of Africa when she won silver over the shorter Sprint, her 1st of the 2 medals, the other being bronze in the 200m at the 2018 African Athletics Championships.
Her two medals, silver (100m) and Bronze (200m) proved to be the only medals Ghana won in Asaba in the Delta State of Nigeria.
International athletics is extremely tough, and this competition promises and is expected to be much tougher than most, bearing in mind, almost every athlete has traveled to this historic North -Eastern city of Ostrava as either the continental best or 2nd best.
For those interested in the geography of the part of the world, Ostrava is only about 14km off the border with Poland.
Europe and the Americas (which includes Jamaica and the USA) are expected to outshine everyone.
Women’s 100m Final
1. SCHIPPERS – EUR
2. A. TENORIO – AMER
3. TA LOU – AFRICA
4 .ALKHALDI -ASIA-PAC
5. ASHER-SMITH – EUR
6. J PRANDINI -AMER
7. AMPONSAH – AFRICA
8 . Y WEI- ASIA-PAC.
Of the 8 athletes competing, the Netherlands’ Dafne Schippers representing Europe has the fastest personal best time of 10.81sec.
Marie-Josée Ta Lou, the Ivorian African track queen jointly has the season best time of 10.85sec with Dina Asher- Smith of Great Britain who is representing Europe. These two ladies are split up on the track by Alkaldi who is in lane 4.
While the two are slugging it out in the middle may in fact help them,they shouldn’t lose sight of Schippers in lane one. At the IAAF World Championships in Paris in 2003, Tim Montgomery was too busy in lane 6 getting himself disqualified. Deji Aliu Benard Williams and Dwain Chambers were fighting it out in the middle and, out alone from the “island” of lane 1 came Kim Collins to emerge the new world champion. Time, 10.07sec . Remember, that was before Usain Bolt so you can’t bemoan the winning time too much.
Good luck to all the athletes, especially the African representatives.
Stay injury free, stay drug free. Race clean.
Akwasi Afriyie (Rosky)
GN RADIO, UK.