Weightlifting  loses sport’s  doyen Aboagye

 One of Ghana’s weightlifting bigwigs, Mr Johnson Clifford Aboagye, has passed on – leaving lasting sparkles of the sport’s magnificent past.

The late Aboagye, 71, who died on December 14, last year, was the second offi­cial chairman of the Ghana Weightlifting Federation (GWF), occupying the seat from 2001 to 2008.

His tenure sparked a revolu­tion in weightlifting – culminat­ing in Ghana annexing hordes of medals including gold at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia.

There have been an out­pouring of tributes from lifters and officials of the metal sport in Ghana and overseas.

President of the GWF, Mr Jerry Shaib, said Aboagye’s death was “a heavily irreplace­able loss to weightlifting – hav­ing followed his exploits in the sport in the early years.”

“He has paid his dues to the sport and we shall all take positives from the legacy he left behind.”

Former President of the GWF and now boss of the Ghana Olympics Committee (GOC), Mr Ben Nunoo Men­sah, described the late Aboagye as “a visionary, resilient figure who never gave up on the sport even during its difficult moments.”

“He was strong-charactered, had loads of ideas and did a lot for weightlifting,” added Mr Nunoo Mensah, recollecting that he became very close to Aboagye “when he personally opted to file my nomination forms on my behalf when I was contesting Prof Francis Dodoo for the GOC Presiden­cy in 2017.”

For chief coach of the GWF, Johnson Abotsie, weightlifting has lost a colossus and a true legend of the sport.

“He was a fantastic chair­man who made the sport what it is today – and I can really feel the pain of his demise,” he lamented.

According to Abotsie, Abo­agye paid $4,000 to enable the weightlifting team participate in the 2003 Africa Games in Abuja, Nigeria.

“Ahead of the Games, he kept us in his house, fed and motivated us by making sure we didn’t lack anything,” re­called Abotsie, who won three medals in that competition.

Ghana’s captain for the 2006 Commonwealth Games and famed weightlifter – Bernard Fetrie, who brought Aboagye to spearhead the sport, says the deceased will “forever have a place in our hearts.”

“He loved weightlifting with all his heart and soul and would be remembered forever by the sport’s disciples all over the world.”

Multiple medal-winning lifter, Juliana Arko, described the revered Aboagye as “a gift to weightlifting who laid a very solid foundation for the sport.”


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