IGNATIOUS GAISAH, a Ghanaian long jumper who recently naturalized for The Netherlands, has stated that his decision to compete for the European country is irreversible.
According to him, Ghanaian officials that thought he could be convinced to return to Ghana were living in dreamland.
He said in a chat on Metro FM in Kumasi that his decision to naturalize for The Netherlands was non-negotiable.
Gaisah won silver for his new country at the just-ended World Athletic Championship in Russia, a few weeks after naturalizing for the European country.
Reports making the rounds indicated that some top gurus in Ghana sports were trying to persuade him to rescind his decision and return to Ghana once again.
Gaisah, who made a mockery of the report, said no amount of persuasion could make him return and compete for Ghana.
He admonished those Ghanaian officials that were trying to convince him to change his mind to use their resources to train new talents.
Without mincing words, Gaisah stated that he was gone for good so Ghana should forget about the possibility of him coming back.
Gaisah currently lives and trains in Rotterdam http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotterdam , Netherlands.
He went to the Netherlands in 2001 and soon flabbergasted everyone at his local club by saying his personal best was 7.85 metres and started proving it as well.
He began competing in the national competition for his club P.A.C. Rotterdam. He won every meeting he competed in, and started competing in international meetings around the globe.
Five years later, Gaisah was considered as one of the best long jumpers in the world, after jumping 8.34 metres to earn a personal best and a silver medal at the World Championships in Helsinki in 2005, only finishing behind star Dwight Phillips http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dwight_Phillips .
On February 2, 2006, in Stockholm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm , he leaped to an African indoor record that also won him the gold medal in this event by jumping 8.36 metres.
He continued his good form to win the 2006 IAAF World Indoor Championships a month later with a jump of 8.30 metres, followed quickly by the 2006 Commonwealth Games http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_IAAF_World_Indoor_Championships gold medal with a jump of 8.20 metres. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_Commonwealth_Games
At the 2006 African Championships in Athletics Gaisah won the gold medal with an 8.51 m jump, beating Cheick TourÃ© http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_African_Championships_in_Athletics ‘s African record of 8.46 metres from 1997, but as the tail wind was too strong (+3.7 m/s) the result could not become a new record. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheick_Tour%C3%A9
In July this year, Gaisah requested for a nationality switch to enable him compete for The Netherlands in future international competitions.
The 29-year-old long jumper, who had lived in the European country for the last 12 years, made a formal request to the Ghana Athletics Association (GAA) to grant him the permission to compete for his adopted country.
By the rules of the International Associations of Athletics Federation (IAAF), an athlete needs the permission of his national federation to enable him to compete for another country or stay out of competition for two years to qualify to compete for another country.
Gaisah said the decision to acquire Dutch citizenship was on financial grounds and future opportunities.
‘The Ghana Federation has always been supportive to me and I hope they will keep doing that, by releasing me to the Dutch Athletics Federation (DAF), having performed for Ghana at the twilight of my career,’ he said in his letter, adding that he was looking forward to staying in The Netherlands after his track and field career and pursuing a career in coaching.
Fuseini Bawa, General Secretary of the GAA, was quoted as saying, ‘We will give him all the necessary documents he needs to embark on his new journey. We cannot stop him.’
After making the switch, Gaisah immediately went on to win silver for his new country, The Netherlands, at the World Athletics Championship which ended last week in Russia.
FROM I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi
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