Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology has held a two-day athletics event dubbed VC’s Open Championships to unearth track stars ahead of its hosting of the 27th Ghana University Sports Association (GUSA) Games in November 2022.
The event, the first of its kind, allowed the sports directorate to pitch the strength of the school’s freshmen and women against the more established continuing students in bid to build a winsome team.
KNUST has established a tradition of contributing to the nation’s men’s 4x100m relay team since 2019 when the duo of Martin Owusu Antwi and Joseph Paul Amoah became part of the gold medalists at the African Games.
The duo of Joseph Oduro Manu and Joseph Paul Amoah were part of the quartet that shattered the national record at the recent World Athletics Championships in Oregon 2022.
Notable winners at the VC’s championships were sprints queen Doris Quainoo who won the 100m in a time of 12.35s, and further victories in the 400m and 100m hurdles.
Speaking to the media, Doris Quainoo said she was confident of a positive outcome at the upcoming GUSA Games.
“They should expect something great from me. I am not going to disappoint the school. Since we are hosting the GUSA Games, I will like to entreat all of the students to support us during the games so that it will help boost our confidence.”
Doris’s teammate Blessing Samuel won the 200m final. Meanwhile, top sprinter Enoch Fosuhene lived up to the billing when he clinched the double, winning the 100m in a time of 10.89s and the 200m in 21.78s. 110m hurdles specialist Barnabas Dompeh won his event with a comfortable victory, while Daniel Mensah equally clinched the men’s 400m final.
It was a fun-filled event that involved athletes from other sports disciplines like handball and soccer teams. Athletes were presented with certificates, trophies, and cash prizes.
The Director of Sports at the Sports Directorate, KNUST, Timothy K. Mensah, said the aim of the event had been achieved.
“You know we don’t have enough time, so we decided to pitch the strength of the freshmen against the continuing students and that is how come we organised the open championships in a bid to also pull in a lot more people,” he said.
“We did this in a bid to get a team for the GUSA Games, come November 2022. This is the first time we have done such a programme as in the open championships. The open championships is an eye opener because we could see people who were not athletes participating. The students are happy. Their cash prizes were paid and everything was in order and the officiating officials were happy.”
Asked about KNUST’s dominance in the national 4x100m relay team, Timothy K. Mensahpaid homage to sprints coach Abubakar Mohammed as the brain behind the school’s success story while insisting there was more to be done.
“Yes, it is not only them (Joseph Paul Amoah and Joseph Oduro Manu) but also Martin Owusu Antwi. It looks like we have the kind of athletes among the crop of athletes who come to KNUST.
“But as it were, things will change going forward. We want to contribute in other areas apart from the sprints. Even as of now, you can still see that we have some of the best in the sprints locally; the likes of Enoch, Frank, and others, have still been dominating at GAA meets.
“I can also pinpoint the coach, a typical sprints coach Abubakar Mohammed (as the reason behind the sprints dominance).”
KNUST is set to host the 27th GUSA Games from November 4-19, 2022.