Let’s hail the likes of Samuel Takyi

The 2020 Olympic Games held in Tokyo, Japan, from Friday, July 23, closed on Sunday, August 8, 2021.

At the end of it all Ghana’s sole medalist at the Games, Samuel Takyi, made the country proud for being the only African athlete to mount the stage, along with athletes representing countries on other continents, during the closing ceremony on Sunday.

The 20-year-old is said to have shared the stage with other deserving athletes and the international Olympic Committee (IOC) President, Mr Thomas Bach.

Takyi won a boxing bronze medal in the featherweight division at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, said to be Ghana’s first podium finish in 29 years.

Even though the youngster’s Olympic journey came to an end in the semi-final at the hands of the American Duke Ragan, it is a huge credit to Ghana.

This is because he succeeded in putting Ghana back on the international sporting map with regard to the Olympics, after nearly three decades of drought.

His exploits made him Ghana’s flag bearer at the closing ceremony, proudly holding aloft Ghana’s flag of red, gold and green.

Truly, that moment would remain unforgettable for the Bukom lad.

Ghana last won an Olympic medal at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, where the Black Meteors claimed a bronze medal, African’s first Olympic medal in football.

It is said that Takyi’s achievement places him in an exclusive class of Olympic medallists from Ghana, including Clement ‘Ike’ Quartey, who won a silver medal in the 1960 games  in Rome; Eddie Blay, who won a bronze in the Tokyo 1964 games and Prince Amartey, who won a medal in boxing at the 1972 games in Munich.

While the Ghanaian Times would share every accolade ascribed to Takyi for his achievement, the paper wishes to ask why that long Olympic medal drought for Ghana?

It is intriguing that in an era where sports have huge potential for harnessing talents and solving some of the country’s unemployment problems, our sports administrators are sleeping on the job, always coasting along with featuring foreign-based athletes, footballers and other sportsmen and women.

Where is the preparation of old, where there were inter-school, district and national sporting events, as well as university games?

It about time the government pumped money into all sporting activities to harness local talents that can match competitors from elsewhere.

Who ever thought in 1992 that Ghana was going to suffer a 29-year Olympic medal drought and that it was going to take a Samuel Takyi to redeem the image of the country.

Definitely, the story must not end with Takyi. The country must revisit the past and bring back some of the practices that enhanced its image through sports, even at a time sports was not bringing much by way of employment creation and money and wealth to practitioners and those who played auxiliary roles in that sector.

The paper also wishes to appeal to sports administrators and politicians to allow true talents to make sports grow, instead of choosing their favourites to participate in games, especially international ones.

Ghana sports should surely be made to grow.

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