Conquerors Athletic Club emerged the winner on Saturday after the club’s athletes performed satisfactorily in the nine (9) male and female categories of the events. Conquerors outranked defending champion Liberty Athletic Club to become the 2017 Best Club.
The new titleholder was awarded a giant golden trophy, L$20,000 in cash and a box of sneakers. Fast Track Athletic Club and Liberty Athletic Club emerged second and third respectively. Fast Track got L$15,000 and Liberty received L$10,000, and a box of sneakers.
Conquerors athletes dominated the 800m female category by grabbing the three top places, and also the 400m female category, with the two top positions. Conquerors was first in the following events: 100m male; 200m male; 400m female; 800m female; 800m male; 1500m male; 4×100 relay male; 4×400 relay male; long jump female; and shot put.
However, Conquerors was second in the following events: 400m female; 400m male; 800m female; 1500m female; 4×100 relay female; long jump male; and shot put. Conquerors was third in the 200m female, 800m female and 1500m male. The two best performing athletes in each event received a pair of sneakers. The sneakers were provided by the Bill Rogers Youth Foundation.
Over 80 athletes from five clubs participated in the club championship, including Hill Side and Zoyah. Prior to the competition, in a formal opening program, LAF president Mulbah Zaza and a research officer at the Ministry of Youth and Sports Ministry, Hassan Kemokai, proxying for his Minister, thanked the athletes and encouraged them to take the sports seriously. International athlete Bill Rogers also urged the athletes to run from their hearts.
The LAF secretary general, Frederick Krah, thanked the club presidents for their collaboration and challenged them to recruit more new athletes. He told the clubs that since 2014, the government is yet to include the LAF in the national budget, including the 2017/2018 Budget.
He stressed that for the past years, the LAF has not been benefiting from “the national cake” as other sporting associations. He said although athletics had not been included in past county meets, “it will be included in the 2017/2018 County Meet.”
Krah disclosed that in 2017, the LAF has participated in four international competitions and have staged four national competitions. He indicated that these competitions were supported by the IAAF, Liberia National Olympics Committee (LNOC), former athletes and administrators. He pointed out that Coach Kelvin Soko (1996) and former athlete Lewis Caesar (1998-2003) provided funds to support the 2017 National Club Championship.
Also, Mr. Ahmed Tukpah, the assistant secretary general of the LNOC, disclosed that the LNOC will be sponsoring a coaching clinic for athletics coaches to obtain Level 1 and the anti-doping campaign (certification).
Former international athlete Hassan Kiawu thanked the LAF and encouraged the athletes to be more focus and do extra training to improve their performance.