The 16-year-old UK based athlete who has represented Ghana in several competitions for over five years now is feverishly setting amazing standards in the sport and making the nation proud.
In a telephone interview with her manager and mother, Kimi Zabihyan told the Times Sports that, the athlete has a fencing scholarship in UK and allowed to participate in the British Youth Championship in Ghana’s name.
“She therefore made history as the first African Girl, or indeed and athlete of any nationality to make it to the finals at the British Championships”, she stated.
Her amazing records of the African Fencing champion include,bronze medal at the African Championships in 2015 and 2016.
She broke the North African Monopoly on medals in the sport by being the first non North African Nation to ever make the podium in the sport of fencing in Africa.
She has also won the British Youth Titles. For three years in a row she was the British School’s Champion at Arms (that is the top prize given to an athlete who is top in three weapons) in 2014.
In 2015 she won the Silver medal of british Schools’ Champion at Arms and in 2016 she won the Gold Medal of British Champion at Arms.
Two weeks ago she won the Silver medal at the British Youth Championships.
She also finished eighth at the African U20 Championships as the youngest person ever to finish in the last 8 in U20s, finished 10th in the African Championship Senior,making her the youngest person ever to finish in top 10 in senior category (which included the world ranked number 2 athlete from Tunisia).
Yasmine finished 7th at the Mediterranean Championships making her the only Non mediterranean country to ever finish in last 10.
Ms.Zabihyan who was a former Vice President of Don King productions between 1999-2010, explained that apart from Yasmine’s passion for the sport, she is highly patriotic and would represent the flag of Ghana though she had the opportunity to feature for Great Britain.
“I am honoured to represent Ghana and love competing for the country. It is challenging sometimes because the sport is new to Ghana but Fencing is one of the original five sports of the Olympics and I am determined to make history for the country. I have already broken the records in Africa and in the UK but there is a long road ahead and I have time and access to great sparring partners,”Yasmine was reported to have said.
“I’ve dealt with professional athletes who are household names for over 15 years in my previous job and just looking at it cold and rationally, if i’d come across someone like yasmine as a complete stranger I would have signed her up as she is exciting to watch and she’s fearless and she’s young so she’s a bit of a star already.You just can tell when someone’s got the right fortitude and work ethic to make it to the top, “her manager acknowledged.
Yasmine met President John Mahama at Flagstaff House last year after the Commonwealth Championships where she finished 10th and won bronze medal in the African Champioships.
The athlete met the President again in London when the President visited last week with the President praising her for being an African champion and proud of her achievements as a young Ghanaian girl.
By Michael D. Abayateye