Samson Deen
Samson Deen

Ghana ready for Africa Para Games

Accra will be in the spotlight this week as the continent's top athletes with various disabilities descend on the city when Ghana hosts the maiden Africa Para Games.

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So far, a total of 22 countries have confirmed participation in the September 3 -- 12 event, with the President of the Africa Paralympic Committee, Samson Deen, confident the country would come through with a successful competition.

Initially, about 36 countries were expected to participate in the multi-sport competition but 14 countries withdrew from the competition. And despite the late start in preparation, Ghanaian officials are determined to ensure the country hosts a memorable event, which is made up of amputee football, wheelchair tennis, wheelchair basketball and sitting volleyball among others.

Last Wednesday, the Liberia amputee national team staged a protest at their country's Ministry of Finance and Development Planning offices to compel their government to approve their budget to enable the team to participate in the tournament.

Ghana's teams are bracing for a tough challenge and aim to emerge as the most successful country at the end of the competition.

Ghana’s amputee football team captain, Richard Oppentil, has given indication the Black Challenge has already thrown down the gauntlet, indicating that the team was competing with a host-and-win plan.

The Black Challenge are a formidable force on the continent after winning the last edition of the football competition hosted by Tanzania in 2021 and they hope to leverage that experience with the Para Games on home soil.

However, Ghana's wheelchair tennis team would encounter stiff opposition from the continent’s top-ranked player, Donald Ramphadi of South Africa, the player to watch as he seeks to establish his dominance at the Para Games.

Ramphadi has immense exposure and experience and has participated in international competitions. He was recently ranked 11th in the world by the International Tennis Federation Quad Singles list.

Earlier this year, the Limpopo-born player was on a successful month-long tour of Australia where he competed at the Victoria Open, Melbourne Open and the prestigious Australian Open, making him one of the favourites to pick the top prize at the upcoming games in Accra.

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