William Amponsah the Agona Swedru star and Sakat Lariba emerged winners of the just ended 2022 National Cross Country Competition.

Long distance runners, William Amponsah from the Central region specifically Agona Swedru Daakye Runners Club  and Sakat Lariba from the Upper East region are winners of the just ended 2022 National Cross Country Competition which took place earlier today, February 26, 2022 at the Akyem Oda Sports Stadium in the Eastern region. The two dominated the 10 kilometer race within a time frame of 28.16 seconds and 35. 07 seconds to win the men’s and women’s race respectively.

The 2022 edition themed “Running Towards the 13th African Games” took place at the Akyem Oda Sports Stadium in the Eastern Region.

The ladies division was keen as all the 16 regions paraded their best Athletes but Ghana Airforce Marathon runner and Upper East wonder kid, Lariba Sakat, was the first to cross the finish line with a time of 35minutes and 07seconds. She was followed by Sherifa Moro from the Ashanti region also within a time of 35mins and 41sec whiles Titi Rosina from the Upper West coming third within a time of 35mins and 52seconds.

The Men’s event was another nerve-racking one as the finest runners from the 16 regions also went neck to neck. William Amponsah from the Central region beat a quality field with a time of 28minutes and 16seconds. Koogo Atia from the North East region followed with a time of 29 mins and 25sec whiles Aziz Mohammed also from the Central region, came third with a time of 29minutes and 47seconds. The 10km race commenced at exactly 7 am after the symbolic gunshot by the Director General of National Sports Authority (NSA), Prof. Peter Twumasi and Board Chairman of NSA, Hon. Seth Panwum for both the male and female categories. Each of the 16 regions fielded 12 athletes, 6 men and 6 women. In all a total of 192 athletes participated.

Prof. Peter Twumasi in his keynote address expressed his profound gratitude and satisfaction to dignitaries present at the event especially the Municipal Chief Executive(MCE) for Birim Central, Hon. Victoria Adu for the key role each of them played in ensuring the 4th edition of the National Cross Country event was made a success. He again advised the other federations to emulate the Ghana Athletic Association by organising such district and national events for their respective disciplines.

He also assured the people of Akyem Oda of H.E. Nana Addo Danquah’s committment to ensuring that the Akyem Oda stadium is renovated to one of the multipurpose stadia across the country.
He further mentioned that this competitions will go a long way to boost the country’s economy by creating jobs for others since Sports is seen as a lucrative business now.

District Chief Executive(DCE) for Achiase District, Hon. Richmond Amponsah who represented the Eastern regional minister was grateful for “the honor bestowed on them to host the 2022 National Cross Country event”. He appealed that, a close attention is paid to the athletes and nurture them to produce results for the 13th All African Games to be held in Accra come 2023.

Board Chairman for NSA, Hon Seth Panwum congratulated the participants for their hard work and resilience. He explained that the infrastructural development that is being championed by the government is not only for our human resource development but also geared towards increasing of Sports because participation in international championships and excelling in them can help boost “our tourism sector”. He again mentioned that winners of this year’s competition will form a core team of Ghana’s athletics team for the upcoming African Games in 2023”. He added,the winners will be decorated by President Akufo Addo. He advised them to continue training hard to be in shape for the African Games.

Over all regional results on the Men leaderboard, Central region came top with 23points. The upper west region came second with 44 points with Ashanti region amassing 55points and staying in the third place.

In the Women’s leaderboard, Upper West region occupied the summit with 21 points. Ashanti region came second with 34 points and with Upper East third with 47 points

Present at the ceremony were Board Chairman of NSA, Hon. Seth Panwum, Director General of NSA, Prof. Peter Twumasi, MCE for Birim Central, Hon. Victoria Adu, LOC Chairman, Dr. Kwaku Ofosu-Asare, President of Ghana Athletic Association (GAA), Afelibeik Ababu, Ag. Deputy Director General(Technical) NSA, Mr. Kwame Amponfi Jnr., Deputy Director General (Administration) NSA, Mr. Majeed Bawa, and General Secretary for GAA, Mr. Bawa Fuseini.

By: Sharon Odoi

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