BLACK STARS OF THE TRACK ARE BACK TO LIFE Featured

By YAW OFOSU LARBI September 26, 2019 2508 37 comments

The Ghana men’s 4x100m team showed that our golden talent is ready to roll again at the World Athletics Championships in Qatar.

Bolt’s are big shoes but the former Prempeh College boy is ready to fill them.

Rose Amoanimaa Yeboah climbed up to the podium, eyes up, looking to the skies in a sort of bewilderment and disbelief at what she had achieved. Ghana’s high jumper, aged 17, had just won gold at the African Games, finishing with a height of 1.84 metres. Soon, the Ghana national anthem began ringing through the bells of live trumpets and the well-connected sound system at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat.

Finally, after a modest soupçon of success at the Games, it was Ghana’s moment.

Fifteen hours later the men’s relay team were in the dressing room holding each other’s hands, praying and pepping themselves up with the belief that they could do it.

“The first few minutes before the race were tough for me,” said Benjamin Azamati, the youngest sprinter in the relay team, in an interview afterwards. “I was nervous.
“We knew the Nigerians were better on paper but believed we had a special crop to beat them this time.”

Presec’s finest

Azamati is currently the fastest man in Ghana. His rise to join the national team was phenomenal.

He began at the Presbyterian Boys’ Senior High School in Accra, where he smashed records and remained consistently unbeaten until he left the walls of the famed school.

At university, Azamati joined the athletics team. He knew it was a path to greatness but, like the former British/world champion Linford Christie, he did not see running as something to take very seriously. In the 2017/18 season of the Ghana Universities Sports Association games, however, he won the 100m sprint and everything changed for him.

In no time, Azamati was out of the country taking part in the West Africa University Games and then the World University Games, where he hit a personal best of 10.32.

He matched this feat at the just-ended African Games in Morocco.

The boy who grew up in the agricultural hub of Akim Oda had become a man. So when Sean Safo-Antwi handed over the baton to him in the 4x100m, he knew the hopes of many Ghanaians were in safe hands.