Weightlifting can give us medals at Games
(A GNA FEATURE BY WILLIAM EZAH)
Accra, July 26, GNA - Ghana has over the years struggled to pick a respectable position at international Games due to our inability to win enough medals to enhance our position on the medal table. It has however been revealed that most countries that amass medals at international Games do so as result of their participation in other sports which are commonly described as lesser sports in Ghana. Events like swimming, judo, tae-kwando and weightlifting among others have been identified as gold mines for countries such as South Africa, China, Korea and many others, which are not so strong in football and track and field.
Nigeria, at the last All Africa Games, emerged as the over all winners after picking over 30 medals in weightlifting. Ghana, on the other hand, picked three medals in the same sport at the Games to enhance her position in the over all medal standings. This is because the possibility of a participant in weightlifting to win more than five medals is very high. Michael Abotsi alone won all three medals in weightlifting for Ghana in Abuja, whereas the 25-man soccer contingent won only a bronze.
It is for these reasons that, weightlifting, needs special attention from the appropriate authorities. Weightlifting, as a sport has a lot of potential medal winners in the country. This is due to the availability of able-bodied men and women scattered across country, who when given the opportunity, could make waves in the sport.
A visit to the interior of the country will bring to bare the presence men and women who could lift even bigger and heavier weights than what currently exists at the international stage. Again, it is one of the cheapest disciplines around as its equipment are easily accessible and affordable.
Barbells, a basic equipment used in the sport could be easily manufactured in Ghana, which is an indication that; we do not need fat budgets to promote the discipline in Ghana.
Mr Cliff Aboagye Chairman of the Ghana Weightlifters Association (GWA) once told the GNA Sports that a minimum of 2,500-5000 dollars would be enough to get barbells for both the northern and southern sectors.
He said this would make it easier for the association to embark on talent-hunt across the country.
According to Mr Aboagye, the nation will be able to reduce the incidence of Kayaye and other social vices, if equipment are made available to unearth talents, especially in the northern part of the country.
Based on the above-mentioned factors, the nation stands to improve on her general performance at international Games if the sport is well organised and promoted.
It is estimated that the Ghana stands to win at least ten medals if five potential medal winners are sent to an international event to compete in weightlifting.
The authorities now have a justifiable cause to make a little contribution to the development of weightlifting in the country, for it is the gold mine that has been ignored for all these years. 28 July 05