It’s a disappointment that her Olympic dream at the Rio Games is over, but Ghana’s Kaya Forson hopes to draw on the positives to be built upon for the future.
The 14-year-old swimmer lost out in her heats of the women’s 200m freestyle last Monday, to end her campaign for a medal but being her first experience, she has no regrets and proud of the chance to represent Ghana on such a high stage.
Kaya, who also became the first Ghanaian female swimmer at the Olympics, produced a life time best 2:16.02 to place third in Heat 1 of the women’s 200m freestyle behind Fiji’s Matelita Buadromo, who won the heat in 2:05.49 minutes while India’s Shivani Kataria took third place in 2:09.30 at the Olympic Aquatics stadium.
Moments after finishing her event, she became the toast of the media at the Olympic Aquatics stadium in Rio, with many desirous of finding out her motives for competing in swimming.
“It’s cool. It’s fun. It’s definitely cool and interesting. It’s an experience that will inspire me to greater heights in the sport.
Having tasted Olympic stardom, Kaya wants to return to the Games at Tokyo 2020 where she hopes to compete alongside her younger sister at the swimming competition.
She also hopes her story will provide the necessary inspiration to other females to explore their world.
“It’s been amazing. I hope to inspire more young ladies to believe in themselves and believe in their dream
The youngster reflected upon her performance in the 200m freestyle event saying, she had to dig into her reserves to finish the race.
“It was fun and tiring as any sports. I saw the girls beside me and I wanted to keep up to them. But on the third ops, they were a bit further away. My thing was, I didn’t want to give up. I didn’t want to stop or get discouraged. I just wanted to go through and do the very best I could.”
The Canadian-born swimmer was handed a universality place at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games by World Swimming governing body, FINA, after competing at the FINA World Championships in Karzan, Russian in 2015 where she named as the youngest athlete at the championships
She took part in the women's 200m freestyle heats in Russia, a key requirement for qualification to the Olympics.
She admitted that it was difficult to control her nerves during her first Olympic event in Rio last Monday.
“I was nervous (yesterday) but this morning I woke up ready to go and excited. I visualized my race and it went exactly as I visualised it. I’m going to take the experience with me. I’m going to take the fact that I have to work harder and train harder and hopefully I will return.