Ampomah, Flings grab top awards

BY: Beatrice Laryea
Laila Zangwio receiving her award from Cornelia Sochunke, executive assistant manager of Kempinski Hotel
Laila Zangwio receiving her award from Cornelia Sochunke, executive assistant manager of Kempinski Hotel

Ghana javelin record holder John Ampomah last Saturday made history as the first athlete to win back-to-back Kempinski Liquid Sports Ghana Male Athlete of the Year award.

The Middle Tennessee State University student beat stiff challenge from Emmanuel Dasor and Sean Safo-Antwi to win the most prestigious accolade of the award held at the Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City in Accra.

“I want to thank God, my family and supporters for this award, I thank you all for your well wishes and the encouragement. I would also like to thank Prof. Francis Dodoo, the Ghana Athletics Association, Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC) and the Sports Ministry for supporting me,” he said in a recorded video interview played at the ceremony.

The Female Athlete of the Year award went to 27-year-old sprinter Flings Owusu-Agyapong who beat last year’s winner Janet Amponsah and triple jumper Nadia Eke.

Both Ampomah and Flings represented Ghana at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, with Ampomah as the team captain and the sprinter as the flag bearer at the Games opening ceremony.

The two athletes excelled in representing the country both locally and internationally with high score performances and were most decorated athletes in the year under review.

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Other winners were Beatrice Gyaman (Local Female Athlete of the Year), Martin Owusu Antwi (Local Male Athlete of the Year) and Laila Zangwio (Rising Triathlon Star of the Year).

The ceremony brought together many athletes, including three-time Paralympian Rafael Nkegbe, London 2012 Olympics weightlifter Alberta Ampomah, para-athlete Patrick Yaw Obeng, para-cyclist Allem Mumuni and Rio 2016 Olympics teenage swimmer, Abeiku Jackson.

Sponsors for the event are the Kempinski Hotel, Kwese Free Sports, Ethiopian Airline and the University of Ghana Sports Directorate.