Ghana’s 4x100 relay team caused a major upset at the 2019 African Games with a hair-raising performance to pick the gold medal in the event.
At the Moulay Abdellah Sports Complex in Rabat, Morocco, last Wednesday, Ghana’s quartet claimed the gold medal with an emphatic performance, clocking 38.30 seconds to beat Nigeria and South Africa.
The victory capped an impressive performance in the qualifying rounds that eventually saw Ghana’s team of Sean Safo-Antwi, Martin Owusu-Antwi, Benjamin Azameti and Joseph Paul Amoah ditch the Nigerians, who had come into the race with a gold and a silver in the men’s 100m final just a day before.
The Daily Graphic is very joyous at this great feat and considers the victory chalked up as not only significant but also a signal to all Ghanaians that no matter where we find ourselves, we can make a difference.
Team Ghana also got the country’s name on the medals table with impressive performances in weightlifting and other events.
Before the 4x100 victory, Rose Amoanimaa had picked Ghana’s first gold at the games with a jump of 1.84m in the women’s high jump, while Winifred Ntumi had won the first medals, three bronze, in weightlifting.
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Weightlifting delivered more medals subsequently through Christian Amoah (three bronze), David Akwei (one bronze) and Forester Osei (one silver), while Grace Obour won bronze in the women’s 400m final. Debora Acquah also clinched silver in women’s long jump.
These victories point to the fact that given the opportunity and right preparation, Ghanaian athletes can make the nation very proud.
The Daily Graphic, on behalf of all Ghanaians, salute all the athletes who have brought glory, fame and honour to Ghana.
The performance and achievements of particularly Ntumi, Amoanimaa and Obour, coincidentally all females and teenagers, should be a source of great encouragement to all that one can be successful if one works hard at it, no matter where one finds oneself and the little support one receives.
While the male athletes are all based abroad, 17-year-old Amoanimaa is a student of the University of Cape Coast; Obour, 17, was discovered during Ghana’s Fastest Human event two years ago, while Ntumi, 16, made her debut for Ghana in 2018 and almost claimed her place as a budding star in the sport.
With the athletes having shown such promise, it now behoves the authorities to ensure that they are given the needed support to further develop into full stars and possibly become world beaters.
Ghana will host the next African Games in 2023 and it is the view of the Daily Graphic that it will be important that all these potential stars be harnessed to deliver excellent performances.
Meeting athletes’ needs, both material and technical, must be of prime concern to not just the sports federations but the nation as a whole to serve as motivation and prepare them adequately for the bigger stages, such as the World Athletics Championship in Doha next month, the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year and the 2023 African Games where we hope to win the most medals as hosts.
It also calls for stakeholder support to partner the government to ensure that the least financed sports that have the potential to win more medals — weightlifting, athletics, boxing, table tennis, basketball, hockey, among others — are given the necessary push to effectively compete at the global stage.
For those athletes on scholarships or living and training abroad, there must be a way to support them, so that they can have the peace of mind to prepare and deliver on bigger stages.
While congratulating Team Ghana, the Daily Graphic would like to encourage all citizens to work hard to lift up the flag of the country, no matter where we find ourselves on the ladder of progress.