The president of the Ghana Taekwondo Federation (GTF), Frederick Lartey Otu, has expressed surprise at allegations of bias leveled against his administration in the selection of players to participate in the African qualifiers for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
According to the GTF President, there is not an iota of truth in the claims of bias spread by one of the foreign based players of the association, Charles Tsibo Cromwell.
Cromwell, a licensed taekwondo trainer had claimed in media reports that he was the best in the male category of the sport and found it strange to be ignored for such an important assignment as the Olympics qualifiers in Agadir, Morocco.
Cromwell said he found no reason to give for being overlooked by the association judging by his current form and latest 60th ranking in the world.
But the association chief pointed out clearly that the due process was followed in selecting the four athletes that represented Ghana at the qualifiers.
Ghana, he explained, was represented by David Adjetey, Terrence Tetteh Asare, Danielle M. Pelham and Eunice Omolara Adedapo.
And with only two options available for Ghana in both male and female division, they were obliged to select the best based on performance and track record.
Explaining the criteria for selection, Mr. Otu said a five-member technical committee made up of the association’s technical committee and the most senior coaches of the male and female teams were tasked to select the best.
At the end of the committee’s work, a list of four athletes was presented to the executive board of the committee with reasons why the four were selected.
According to Mr. Otu, Adjetey and Terrence were selected ahead of Cromwell because apart from the good form they have shown in recent times, they have won medals for the nation at different platforms.
“Adjetey won silver at the All Africa Games in Congo Brazzaville and a championship in the USA while Terrence won bronze at the All Africa Games. Unfortunately, Cromwell has not won a single medal for Ghana before,” Mr Otu told the Times Sports over the weekend.
Incidentally, the two players lost to more experienced players at the semifinal stage and left no one doubt over why they were selected except Cromwell, adding that, ranking alone cannot guarantee a player a place in the national team.
“They were our best athletes, without doubt. You don’t call yourself the best only on the basis of ranking. The nature of the sport demands that you compete where you have comparative advantage. Ask Cromwell what medal he has ever won for Ghana in spite of the many tournaments he has participated in”, Mr Otu fumed.