Many Ghanaians are asking questions about why Ghana sent five athletes to Japan to represent it in the 4×100 relay in the ongoing 2020 Olympics at Kokyo, Japan.
Even though athletics is an individual sport, people who compete in relays are classified as a team that is why four people run in a relay.
In international competitions, any country or team that qualifies to participate in a relay is allowed to register six athletes but only four will run.
As we have reserves players in football, the same applies in athletics.
The reason is that an athlete can be injured during training or in the competition and may not be able to continue to run in the next stage of the competition.
In such situations, a coach will need to substitute the injured athlete with any of the two reserves.
Sometimes too, the coach will need to do some technical changes to boost the performance of the team hence the inclusion of the reserves so that he can fall on them when need be.
During Usain Bolt’s reign with Jamaica, he was always a reserve in their relay team till the finals, it was a technical plan their coach adopted to win the relays for the country.