If you know how Atsu Nyamadi entered the decathlon ranks, you will appreciate the effort he has put in these last few years to get to where he is now.
The Ahmadiyya senior high school (AMASS) product who is a long jump and javelin specialist debuted in the combined events at the CAA African Championships in Benin 2012, upon advice from the Ghana Athletics Association President Prof. Francis Dodoo based on his performances in six out of the ten events.
Despite finding the competition very tough especially the pole vault and high jump, he performed admirably well finishing 5th with 5932 points.
Two years later in Morocco at his second Africa Championships, Atsu showed grit and strength in winning bronze despite struggling with the pole vault and high jump events again. He placed third with 6966 points behind Algeria’s Larbi Bourrada with 8311pts and Mauritius’s Guillaume Thierry who had 7312 pts.
The story was very different at this year’s All Africa Games in Congo-Brazzaville where Atsu Nyamadi grabbed Ghana’s first silver medal and second medal in Athletics with 7478 points, 89 points short of his personal best 7567pts. The roles were reversed with Mauritius’s Guillaume Thierry taking first place in the absence of African champion Larbi Bourrada.
Take nothing away from Atsu, the improvements were there for all to see: he cleared the bar at 1.85m in the high jump and also vaulted 4.00m. But both performances were still below his season bests of 2.01m in the high jump and 4.10m in the pole vault.
He won first place in the long jump with 7.27m and javelin throw with 65.24m and took second place in the Shot put and Discus throw events.
His transition from Wily College to Middle Tennessee State University definitely has had a positive influence over his performances. Long may it continue!