Samuel Takyi makes U-turn on Olympic dreams
Former Olympic bronze medalist Samuel Takyi has declared his disinterest in pursuing his Olympic dream, signalling a shift from his earlier aspirations to secure Ghana's first-ever Olympic gold medal despite transitioning to the professional ranks last year.
Frustrated by his inability to secure a place on the national amateur boxing team for the ongoing African Olympic qualifiers in Dakar, the 22-year-old boxer vented his disappointment to the Graphic Sports, stating unequivocally that he was no longer interested in pursuing Olympic glory in Paris. Instead, he now wishes to channel his energy towards his burgeoning professional career.
The Ghanaian boxing sensation who claimed a bronze medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics had ardently expressed his desire to represent Ghana once more, this time at the 2024 Olympics in Paris in a bid to secure Ghana's first-ever Olympic gold medal despite transitioning to the professional boxing circuit just last year.
However, the President of the Ghana Boxing Federation (GBF), Bernard Quartey, extended a glimmer of hope to the youngster to still pursue his Olympic dream via two alternative qualification pathways available next year for members of the Black Bombers who fail to secure Olympic slots during the September 9 --15 qualifiers in Dakar, Senegal.
Mr Quartey gave an assurance that the Olympian would be invited to rejoin the national team to enable him to compete at subsequent qualification events in Italy next February and Bangkok in May.
The GBF boss explained that Takyi voluntarily excluded himself from the Black Bombers team following his refusal to avail himself for training and justifiers for selection into the team.
"Takyi will not be featuring at the Senegal competition because he was not part of the team that trained towards the competition, but I will invite him to start training for the next two qualifiers next year," he told the Graphic Sports.
Nevertheless, the 22-year-old boxer remains resolute in his decision to shift focus to his professional career, having fought thrice since his Olympic glory two years ago.
"I am a professional boxer; I am not an amateur so I can't talk about amateur fighters. I don't know what's going on there and can't talk about Paris because I'm a professional boxer," Takyi told the Graphic Sports.
Takyi also dismissed allegations of a financial dispute with the Ministry of Youth and Sports over promised funds for career development, which President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo pledged following his Olympic bronze medal win in Tokyo.