Mr. George Lamptey, President of the Ghana Boxing Federation (GBF), is confident the Black Bombers (national amateur boxing team) will go for a medal haul at the Africa Games (AG) coming up in Morocco.
According to him, the team will rely on the vast experience gained by the boxers in competitions of such magnitude to end their medal drought in recent championship.
In a chat with the Times Sports over the weekend, the GBF boss said the failure to win medals in recent times has become a matter of concern for not just the management team but the boxers as well.
“That has in a way put a huge expectation on the boxers and everybody around the team to prepare well and focus on the dream of winning medals at the Games.”
Ghana will be represented by 10 boxers at the Games made up of eight males and two females who are virtually new to such platforms.
But Mr. Lamptey told the Times Sports that apart from the female boxers who are new, the male fighters are very experienced and talented and are considered medal hopefuls.
“We have boxers that have participated in the AG, Commonwealth and Olympic Games and gone as far as to the medal stage so they would certainly not be overawed by the event.”
He said the GBF with support of the technical team and boxers have been in camp for a long time despite the initial neglect in a bid to stay in shape and be competitive for the event.
He also expressed gratitude to DH Industries for its continuous support for the federation.
Head Coach of the team, Ofori Asare, also remains confident in the team’s abilities and told the Times Sports that the medals are not far from the Ghanaian team.
“These boys and two girls are so determined to make Ghana proud. Each and every one of them has set a personal target of coming home with a medal. That is what drives them on to work harder each day to come out victorious.”
“We have been in camp for a while and on our own resources. In Accra, we were on non residential camping, training at the Sports Stadium. We stepped up to the final stages of our training after moving to our present camp site.”
The three-star rated AIBA Coach Instructor in Ghana said out of the 10 fighters going for Ghana, he hopes to see a medal haul of five.
Assisted by coaches Akai Nettey and Lartekwei Lartey, the technical team of the Black Bombers anticipates a very tough competition from Nigeria and some of the North African countries but is optimistic they have what it takes to overcome that challenge.
Boxers representing Ghana are Sulemana Tetteh (49k), Samuel Yaw Addo (57kg), Abdul Wahid Omar (63kg), Jessie Lartey (69kg), Abubakar Quartey (75kg), Shakul Samed (81kg), David Bawa (91kg) and Anani Kutsokey (91+kg).
The females are Abigail Quartey (57kg) and Omella Sathoud (75kg) with the three member coaching staff.
As of the time of filing the report, it was unclear whether the team will travel with the President of the federation, Mr. Lamptey who is expected to represent Ghana at the Africa Boxing Congress (AFBC) on August 26-27.
BY ANDREW NORTEY