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Amponsah, Lariba claim victories at maiden Good Day Energy Cross Country

Ghana Arm Forces duo of William Amponsah and Sakat Laribi have claimed victories at the maiden Good Day Energy Cross Country Sunday, November 21, 2021, in Ghana’s capital of Accra.

The 21-year-old Amponsah finished first in 38 minutes, 48 seconds in the 12-kilometer race, crossing the finish line 1.62s ahead of second-placed Koogo Atia (40.10) in the men’s race.

Ataylar Awini Samuel clocked 40.51 for a podium finish in a rough, bumpy Berekuso-Ashesi University road.

William Amponsah, a University of Education, Winneba student, and a national long-distance runner, emerged victorious, running an average of 3.2 kilometers per hour.

“The road was very rough and hilly, but I endured (to victory),” Amponsah said at the end of the race. “The organization was excellent. I think the route is good for cross country.

“We’re grateful to the organizers for the race. I believe this will not be the last time they are organizing it. Going forward, I think it will be more excellent.”

Meanwhile, Amponsah’s teammate Sakat Lariba finished the race in 47.47 to win the women’s category, completing the order of September’s Asante Akyem Marathon, where the two were winners.

Titi Rosina (52.24) and Sherifa Moro (53.05) came second and third, respectively.

“It was a very difficult route,” 25-year-old Lariba said. “Every one kilometer, you have to climb a hill.

“We were not training on that kind of route, but when you train, the race becomes easy for you. It is when you don’t train you find difficulties in the race.”

Prizes for podium finishes

Amponsah and Lariba walked home with 5,000 Ghana Cedis each from organizers Good Day Energy Drink for emerging first in the male and female categories while second-placed Atia and Rosina also pocketed 3,000 Ghana Cedis each.

Awini Samuel and Sherifa Moro also won for themselves 1,500 Ghana Cedis each for the third-place finishes.

Leading finishes 

Men

  1. William Amponsah  38.48
  2. Koogo Atia  40.10
  3. Ataylar Awini Samuel 40.51
  4. Afful Basit  41.55
  5. Arthur Ishmael  42.47
  6. Seidu Salifu 42.47
  7. Mallam Yamduti 43.22
  8. Tetteh Emmanuel 43.22
  9. NakousiDaud 43.35
  10. Kwaoke Philip 43.45

Women 

  1. Sakat Lariba 47.47
  2. Titi Rosina 52.24
  3. Sherifa Moro 53.o5
  4. Abdulai Ramata 53.30
  5. Aziah Mumuni Salamatu 56.22
  6. Issifu Kancho Mary 56.57
  7. Atinga Emmanuella 57.29
  8. Ibrahim Wasilatu 59.15
  9. Musah Aisha 1:01.18
  10. Sejebor Belinda 1:01.49

Team performances

The Ghana Arm Forces come out on top as the best in the men’s category, with 18 points to win a trophy for their team.

Team Dakye placed second, scoring 32 points ahead of Team High Morale of Ho’s 45. Ashanti came 4th with 58 points.

In the women’s category, Ashanti was adjudged the best team despite having the same score of 28 points with Ghana Arm Forces. Team Upper West scored 29 points to finish third.

All the over 200 athletes who took part in the race from across the country were given certificates of participation, cartons of Good Day Energy Drink, and branded t-shirts.

Good Day Energy Cross Country has come to stay

Fentuo Tahiru, a member of the organizing team, said, “12 kilometers is surely very challenging, it is not exactly what many of these athletes are used to.

“This was a different kind of challenge for them and I’m really happy a lot of them showed up here. It tested a different part of their skillset and they succeeded.

“For the very first edition, we have been overly impressed with what we’ve seen here and this cross country has definitely come to stay.

“Hopefully, next year will be much bigger than this. The dream is to see this go to an international level.”