INTERNATIONAL STUDENT AND UG-PAAS ATHLETE SHINE AT 2017 UG INTER-HALL CROSS COUNTRY
Yes! Once again the mother has given birth to a magnificent child who brought glory to her people on Saturday, 7th October, 2017 in the 54th UG Inter-Hall Cross Country Competition. This magnificent child Mr. Joseph Mensah a former student of Prempeh College and beneficiary of the University of Ghana Policy on the Admission of Athlete Students (UG-PAAS) came first in the male category of the Cross Country Competition. His splendid performance helped Commonwealth Hall to retain the trophy they won last academic year. An international student from Occidental College, USA, who is currently studying Chemistry and Computer Science at UG, Ms. Charlotte Cullip led Volta hall to win the female category.
In the female category, a total of four Halls (Legon, Akuafo, Mensah Sarbah and Volta Halls) were represented by teams. The male category consisted of all the traditional halls represented by teams (Legon, Akuafo, Mensah Sarbah and Commonwealth Halls) with Bani Hall and Distance Education participating with an Athlete each.
The female 8km race was nothing short of exciting. Volta Hall came first with maximum points of 37 with Akuafo placing second on 68 points. Mensah Sarbah was third with 92 points. Charlotte Cullip of Volta Hall was the first to appear on the winning stretch winning the individual ranking with a time of 35 minutes 59 seconds.
The battle for supremacy was very fierce in the male 12km race. Joseph Mensah of Commonwealth Hall stunned the crowd as he appeared on the winning stretch with well over 400m gap from the 2nd person. His impressive time of 38 minutes 46 seconds helped Commonwealth Hall to finish first with 29 points. The 2nd and 3rd positions were Mensah Sarbah and Legon Halls with total points of 77 and 122 respectively.
An elated Joseph Mensah expressed his opinion on the competition;
“It was a very tough race and I must give thanks to God for making this possible. I hadn’t trained in a while after SHS and this resulted in an injury during training, which dimmed my confidence but the guidance and encouraging words from the Cross Country Coach William Akuka kept me going. I believed I could do the 12km after the training sessions and I must say I am very proud of myself for winning first place in my first try as an undergraduate at UG. I know I can do better and will continue training non-stop this time around to win the GUSA games for Legon and I hope to continue improving and take it to the national level and make Ghana proud.”
The Cross Country Coach, Mr. Williams Akuka was pleased with the performance he saw and is very sure of improving the results of UG at the 2017 GUSA Cross Country to be held at University of Mines and Technology, Tarkwa on November 4, 2017. He expressed his opinion on the competition.
“My top athletes were not in prime form for this year’s competition due to various reasons, however the times and pace I saw were still impressive. I saw great potential as soon as I started training Joseph. I took him through the right training and encouraged him to run and get a placement. He is a very strong man who does not give up and I wasn’t surprised at his position. I am optimistic and have very high hopes for this year’s GUSA Cross Country at Tarkwa.”
The best three halls and the best athlete for both male and female categories were presented with medals.
The event saw some dignitaries present among them were some members of University of Ghana Sports Advisory Board, members of the Sports Directorate Management Committee, Management of the various Halls of Residence and avid students and supporters.
Thirteen (13) athletes each from both categories were selected to train for final selection for Team UG at the GUSA Cross Country to be held at University of Mines and Technology, Tarkwa in November, 2017.