Entering the 4th week in the 2017 athletics season, “Mighty” Sampson Laari keeps rewriting national middle distance records. Overall, Ghanaian athletes continue to impress with 4 moving into global rankings and a slew of new indoor national records; two new national records added to the five from week two. Again, it was Sampson Azumah Laari who last weekend (Jan 14) obliterated the national 3000 meters record by a whole half minute clocking 8 minutes 5.88 seconds. On January 21, Sampson decided to take almost nine seconds off the Ghana indoor mile record and got ever so close to the magical sub-4-minute mile indoors clocking 4 minutes 1.31 seconds. The other national record of the week fell to Gemma Acheampong, who blazed 39.01 seconds to knock off an entire second off her personal best, in what was obviously a sprinted 300 meter race. Elsewhere, Agnes Abu cemented her credentials as Ghana's number 1 in the middle distance, by producing another lifetime best in the 800 meters, coming home in 2 minutes 5.13 seconds. Abu gave a oh so close to breaking the 12 year old national record held by Akosua Serwaa. Also in the 800m, former youth champion Martha Bissah posted an indoor lifetime best of 2 minutes 12.14 seconds, a shade inside Patience Akwangoba's outdoor victory at the Mini-GUSA Games in Cape Coast a week and a half ago. On the sprint front, Martin Owusu-Antwi and Solomon Afful posted creditable times of 21.33 seconds and 21.39 seconds, in their respective indoor competitions. On the women’s side, women's quartet of 2016 Olympians posted decent times in the 60m dash: Gemma Acheampong (7.44s); Persis William-Mensah (7.47s); Akua Obeng-Akrofi (7.56s); and Janet Amponsah (7.59s). It seems the sprinters are trying to make early claims for slots on the national relay sprint team for the World Relays in Nassau, Bahamas in April 2017. WORLD RANKINGS: Despite how early in the season it is, we must always celebrate athletes who make it into the top-10 globally. As of today, four of our athletes can be found on those rankings, led by Nadia Eke (4th in the triple jump), Sampson Azumah (8th in the one mile), Alex Amankwah (9th in the 400m), and Agnes Abu (10th in the 800m). Rankings for the indoor season so fa can be found on the GAA Facebook page. The action continues next week in the USA and Europe, and in Tamale a month from now. Remember to continue to follow Ghana Athletics via our Facebook page, where you can also watch videos of some of the athletes' outstanding performances, and send them missives of encouragement.
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