Sports | Track

Akua Obeng-Akrofi not selected to race in Rio de Janeiro

Ghana’s 4x100-meter relay team finished eighth out of eight in the first heat of the competition at the Olympic games. 

Rising junior Akua Obeng-Akrofi earned a spot on the relay team, but she did not compete in the race after Ghana brought five athletes to the Games to fill four spots. 

"It’s just such a great opportunity to be able to go," she told Spectator in late July about the possibility of not running in the relay. "Hopefully I’ll be able to compete, but if not, I’ll be able to stand by my team."

Ghana finished in 43.37, with Jamaica winning the heat in 41.79. While the first heat concluded relatively as expected, the second heat played out much differently. The United States team missed a handoff between the second and third legs, finishing with a time of 1:06.71. 

It wasn’t until after the race that television replays showed Alison Felix being clipped from behind right before her pass to English Gardner. That slight bit of contact caused Gardner to drop the baton, so Team USA protested the result, and successfully incited a re-run. In the solo time trial—the first in Olympic track and field history—the U.S. recorded the top time of the day, clocking a 41.77 to advance to Friday’s event final. 

Now that Obeng-Akrofi and the rest of the Ghana relay team are finished with Olympic competition, the rising junior can turn her attention to the second half of her college career. Rounding out her sophomore season with the second-fastest 400-meter time in school history, Obeng-Akrofi will look to claim the top spot at the Ivy League Championships and a potential bid to the NCAA championships next calendar year.

ellorine.carle@columbiaspectator.com | @CUSpecSports

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