I have a feeling the men’s national record (38.12NR) will go down this evening! 37s is the target. The boys will be in a battle of their lifes vs. 2019 world finalists the Netherlands, Turkey’s team led by 2017 world 200m champion Tamil Guliyev. Czech Republic, Ukraine and Spain. We have the element of surprise though as many will not be expecting much from out boys. Ghana’s team has evolved ever since the African Games gold medal. We now have a sub 10 runner in Benjamin Azamati. Joseph Manu will run the curve ahead of Martin Owusu Antwi who could not make the trip. We have experience in 2018 World 60m finalist Sean Safo-Antwi who will start the race while national 200m record holder Joseph Paul Amoah finishes the race. Joe’s top end speed is a great asset. If the boys can get the baton to him early enough, we will be contenders to take one of the automatic top two qualifying places or as one of the fastest losers.
There is a reshuffle in the women’s team with Latifa Ali getting the nod ahead of Flings Owusu Agyapong. So, Gemma starts this time with Latifa taking the back straight slot; on her return to the team, Janet Amponsah is stationed in the curve while Hor Halutie is set to finish. Sounds exciting! They are up against a formidable Brazilian team who have clocked one of the fastest times (43.45SB) in the world this year, behind the US, Germany and International teams.
Ghana’s heat also includes world finalists Italy-who interestingly Ghana beat to qualify for Rio 2016 Olympics in 2016. Japan, with a season’s best of 44.30(SB) and the Czech Republic complete the group. On paper, we’re the underdogs and may not be expected to pick one of the automatic first two qualifying places here but that also makes it interesting. Ghana benefitted from a mishap in their heat at Yokohama 2019 to qualify for the final. The girls need to dig deeper to make it this time.
The top eight placed teams in the women’s and men’s 4x100m finals on 1-2 May will automatically qualify for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, while the top 10 – the eight teams in the final and those with the two next best times in the first round – will qualify for the World Championships Oregon22.