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29.09.2004 Sports News

Mike Ahey regrets ever running for Ghana

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Accra, Sept 29, GNA - One of Ghana's track and field greats, Mike Ahey has expressed regret ever competing for the nation.

Ahey, arguably the best male sprinter the nation has ever produced and whose 1962 long jump national record of 8.19 metres was smashed just this year by new sensation, Ignatius Giasah at the Abuja Olympic Games was conspicuously axed from 15 inductees into the first-ever Sports Hall of Fame in Accra on Wednesday.

He together with some 100 old sportsmen and sports women were however, recognised for their outstanding performances and contribution towards their individual achievement in sport and were given certificates and one million cedis each.

A gold medallist at the 1962 Australia Commonwealth Games, he also won silver in the 4 by 100 relay race at the same event, Ahey told the the love of mother Ghana but retorted, "what have I benefited for from this stand?"

His said his only solace is that he grabbed an opportunity to coach in Saudi Arabia from 1981 to 1997, where he made some fortune and that is what he now relies on at his old age of 62 years.

The tall and lanky Ahey, a three time Olympian, who competed in the 1964 Tokyo Games, 1968 Mexico Games and the 1972 Munich Games recounted how he was frustrated at the National Sports Council (NSC) between 1980 and 1981 when he was just appointed as the new national coach by veteran sports writer turned administrator, Kofi Badu.

He said, workers at the NSC at the time saw him as an outsider and never gave him a dog's chance to succeed.

"But even under the circumstances, I managed to produce equally greats athletes like Janet Yawson, Grace Armah, Mefatu and Rex Brobbey", he said.

The former athlete who competed from 1959 to 1963 noted that sports had slumped into recession because of poor organisation and lack of coaches and said there was the need to re-engineer the whole system for Ghana to recapture her lost glory. 29 Sept 04

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