World Championships Bronze medalist and Africa’s Queen in the heptathlon, Margaret Simpson, has revealed that she will compete in two or more events at 2011 rLG Ghana Athletics Grand Prix.
The 29 year old, has a season’s best (SB) of 6,134 points in the heptathlon and is ranked number 1 in Africa by almost 400 points.
As a heptathlete, Simpson is used to competing in seven individual events over 2 consecutive days; 100 m hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200 m, long jump, javelin throw, 800 m.
However, because the heptathlon is not one of the featured events at the one-day competition, Margaret will be competing in fewer events.
In an exclusive interview with E TV Sports, the two-time All-African Games Gold medalist said she is still keen on competing at the maiden edition of the Ghana Athletics Grand Prix.
“I will not be coming there to compete in heptathlon because you know in Ghana we don’t have women who compete in the heptathlon. I’m alone.” She said.
“So I will compete in about two or three events and after that return to my base (Mauritius) for further training.”
She added, “I will compete in the long jump, and try to run the 100m hurdles because we have one other Ghanaian athlete who also does that event.”
“So I will try to push her so that we can do much better.”
The GAA is using the competition to provide a platform for local athletes to compete with their international counterparts; foreign-based Ghanaian athletes and athletes from other countries.
The 2005 World Championships Bronze Medalist in the women’s heptathlon says the initiative is laudable.
“It’s a good idea, especially for us -Ghanaian foreign based athletes- and even for the local athletes because they will be feeling very happy because for so many years we have not been competing in Ghana.”
“If now the GAA is organizing this competition for us in order to be able to compete with the local athletes, I think it is a very good idea.”
“And I’m very happy that we are going to compete in Ghana so that the local athletes can gain some experience from us. We are also going to give them some advice.”
This will be the first time that the Kumasi born athlete will be competing in front of her home crowd since she moved base to the IAAF high performance center in Mauritius.
Margaret Simpson is delighted at the opportunity.
“I’m going to be feeling very happy because Kumasi is my home town so I will be happy to run there.
“Most people know me from watching the television.
“So competing in Kumasi I know there will be so many people there to encourage us and I will be feeling very happy.”
Margaret Simpson is currently ranked 14th in the world rankings having led the pack earlier in April, 2011.
Over eighty (80) athletes including several from various countries are expected to take part in the competition which will include the 100, 200, and 400 meter sprints, middle distance competitions in the 1500m and 3000m, and field events like shot putt, triple and long jump.
The national 4x100m relay teams will also get an opportunity to qualify for the World Championships in competition against visiting teams.
Source: eTV Ghana