Meet Ghana’s Commonwealth Games Heroes in Birmingham
Boxing once again proved to be Ghana’s star performer at the 2022 Commonwealth Games as three members of the Black Bombers provided medals on a dramatic weekend for the Ghanaian contingent.
On a weekend when Ghana’s 4×100 meters quartet were denied a chance to compete for a medal after being disqualified due to a technical error by team officials, one of the country’s hopefuls for a gold medal, Joseph Commey suddenly developed body aches and was declared medically unfit to contest the featherweight division final yesterday, leaving him to settle for a silver medal.
Ironically, the latest Ghanaian athlete to arrive in Birmingham, Deborah Acquah, saved her best for last as she was the country’s fifth and final medalist in Birmingham on Sunday night.
The 26-year-old arrived in Birmingham just 48 hours before the start of the women’s long jump following a delay in getting her UK visa. However, once the competition started, she got into her stride and won a bronze medal with a leap of 6.94m in the final. bShe finished behind Australia’s Brooke Buschkuehl (silver) and Nigeria’s Ese Brume who leapt 6.99m to win gold.
A Texas A&M University student, Acquah’s jump of 6.94 meters was a new national record, wiping out her previous mark of 6.89 meters set April 4 at the Texas Dual Meet, which made her the seventh best college girl of all time.
Another newbie, Abraham Mensah, settled for a silver medal after losing the bantamweight contest final to Dylan James Eagleson yesterday.
Last Saturday, Abdul Wahib Omar lost his semi-final against Louis Richarno Colin of Mauritius in the semi-final to win a bronze medal.
However, there was some consolation for the men’s track stars as Joseph Paul Amoah finished third in the men’s 200 meters final to claim a bronze medal last Saturday.
His feat was the first medal for an African in the men’s 200m since the 2006 Games in Melbourne and also the first medal for a Ghanaian in the event since the 1974 competition in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Commey’s failure to qualify for the final was a blow for Ghana, after officials missed a chance to win a medal in the men’s 4×100 meters final.
The 18-year-old boxer was a revelation at the Games after dispatching three opponents en route to the final. His opponent from Northern Ireland, Jude Gallagher, took a clear victory and the easiest gold without a punch in the final.
Yesterday, 19-year-old Mensah lost by unanimous decision to Eagleson to finish the tournament with a silver medal.
After being exempted from the Round of 16 and Round of 16 competition, Mensah fought his way to the final with impressive quarter-final and semi-final wins.
On the other hand, Omar has failed to live up to expectations being the most experienced member of the Black Bombers squad having previously featured in the 2014 and 2018 editions of the games respectively.
The 28-year-old was beaten by Mauritian Louis Richarno Colin in the semi-finals to deny him a chance to challenge for gold.
With the Ghana team competing in 13 sporting disciplines with over 100 athletes, athletics joined boxing as the only sport to win a medal for the country.
If not for the technical fault of the Ghana Athletics Association (GAA), the Ghana team could have won another medal in the 4x100m relay.
A quartet of Benjamin Azamati, Sean Safo-Antwi, Abdul-Rasheed Saminu and Barnabas Agerh were disqualified despite finishing third with a national record time of 39.05s in round 1 of the 4x100m relays.
Responding to the disappointment that led to Ghana’s disqualification, the Ghana team management in Birmingham called on the GAA to provide them with a detailed report detailing what led to this unfortunate incident.
But the GAA, in a statement, apologized to the athletes and the entire nation for what they described as a technical oversight which led to Ghana’s disqualification.
In the men’s 100m, Benjamin Azamati came close to claiming a bronze medal but missed the finish line to place fourth in 10.16 seconds, while Kenya’s Ferdinand Omayal clinched gold in 10.02 seconds .
Meanwhile, the women’s 4x100m relay team managed to finish seventh in the final race, ending their hopes of winning a medal at the Games.
In the high jump, Abigail Kwarteng and Rose Yeboah of Ghana failed to medal in the women’s high jump competition despite clearing the height of 1.85m.
After clearing the bar at 1.91m, Kwarteng failed to reach the height of 1.92m as she missed out on a spot in the medal area.
Yeboah, meanwhile, achieved a personal best by clearing the height of 1.85 meters but struggled with the bar at 1.89 meters.
The Ghana team struggled to make progress in disciplines such as swimming, table tennis, badminton, squash, weightlifting, hockey, beach volleyball and among others.