Ghana bagged 36 medals to edge Nigeria who claimed 34 medals to first place in the overall medal standings as the inaugural ECOWAS U-20 Championships ended at the Cape Coast stadium last Saturday.
14 West African countries took part in the colourful 2-day organised by the Ghana Athletics Association in partnership with Just Because Fitness. It was well attended by some second cycle schools in the Cape Coast Metropolis including from Mfantsipim School, Adisadel College, University Practice Senior High School, Abrakrampa Senior High School, among others.
Ghana and Nigeria rekindled their old rivalry at the Confederation of African Athletics sanctioned championship, which saw Ghana’s men’s team win 18 medals comprising 5 gold, 10 silver and 3 bronze medals while Nigeria won 9 gold, 4 silver and 5 bronze medals. Burkina Faso won a gold medal and 4 bronze medals, followed by Togo who came 4th with a silver and bronze medal.
In the women’s division, Ghana won 7 gold, 6 silver and 5 bronze medals compared to Nigeria’s 7 gold, 5 silver and 3 bronze medals. Togo, Niger, Liberia and Burkina Faso each won a silver medal. Sierra Leone followed with 3 bronze medals.
Using the IAAF Scoring Tables, officials from the Confederation of African Athletics awarded one male and female athlete for their spectacular performances at the event.
Senegal’s Louis Francois Mendy was awarded as the best male athlete after clocking 14.03s to win the 110m final.
Nigerian sprinter Joy Udo-Gabriel clinched the best overall female athlete of the year award, having won the 100m in 11.72s and 200m with 23.92s. Joy causes a major upset at the championships, beating home favourite Hor Halutie to gold in the sprints finals.
Kumasi based sprinter Edwin Kwabla Gadayi clinched gold in the men’s 200m final with 21.18s. Gadayi had earlier lost the 100m title to Nigeria’s Omubo Aribibi Gashon who clocked 10.54s.
In some of the notable performances of the meet, Ghana’s male/female 4x100m produced eye catching performances to take gold respectively while Nigeria settled for silver.
Ghanaian thrower David Fianu showed glimpses of greatness, claiming gold in the javelin throw with 56.18m and shot put events respectively.
Grace Obour punched above her weight to win a competitive women’s 400m a time of 53.60s, followed by the Nigerian pair of Joyce Abu 55.55s and Abasiamo Akpan 56.11s.
Meanwhile, officials of the Confederation of African Athletics expressed their happiness at the organisation of the two day event.