Review of Ghana Sports in the year 2021
Just like many other sporting countries, Ghana, also began to pick up slowly after the effects of the global pandemic, COVID-19, on various sporting and social activities across the world.
Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
In Ghana, the country’s biggest sports win was their participation in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games in July and August where Samuel Takyi, representing Ghana in the featherweight division, won Ghana and Africa’s only medal in boxing.
The country was represented by 14 athletes in five sporting disciplines namely; athletics, boxing, judo, swimming, and weightlifting. However, it was boxing that stood tall at the end of the quadrennial summer event.
Boxing’s win was welcomed by all Ghanaians including the President, Nana Addo Dankwah Akuffo-Addo who even went ahead to gift the boxer a salon car and the Olympic contingent some cash reward for their efforts.
Ghana’s 4x100m relay team was also a delight to watch in the World Athletics Relay Championship held in Poland in May which gave them a ticket to the Tokyo Games where they managed to qualify to the finals.
Young female long jumper, Deborah Acquah, set a new national record in the long jump with a new mark of 6.81m to establish herself as the leading African jumper, but narrowly missed out on automatic qualification for the Tokyo Olympics. She broke Ruky Abdulai’s 6.44m old record set in 2007.
Also, Benjamin Azamati of West Texas A&M University broke a 22year old 100m record set by Leonard Myles-Mills in 1999. Azamati did 9.97secs to Myles-Mills’ 9.98secs.
Sprinter, Joseph Paul Amoah, also made the headlines when he broke the national 200m record after smashing a 24-year record of 20.15secs held by Emmanuel Tuffour with a personal best of 20.08secs. He made the record in the NCAA Division I Championships held in Austin,Texas.
The national badminton team, Golden Shuttlers, participated in the 2021 African Badminton Championships held in Kampala, Uganda. The team won seven medals made up of two gold medals, two silver medals, and three bronze medals. The championship served as one of the qualifiers for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The team also won 19 medals at the Benin International and the All Africa U-19 championship held in Benin. This is an unprecedented achievement chalked under the Evans Yeboah-led administration.
The Para-Badminton team also performed well at the Uganda Para Championship which served as a qualification to the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham next year.
Ghanaian boxer, Paul Dogboe, won two bouts in the year under review. He won the North American Boxing Federation (NABF) featherweight belt after beating Adam Lopez in June and went on to defend it successfully in November against Christopher Diaz and Richard Commey also lost to Vasyl Lomachenko
As expected, Lomachenko wins a wide decision by scores of 117-110, 119-108, and 119-108.
In football, the national senior football team, Black Stars, competed in the qualifying matches for both African Cup of Nations (AFCON) and the FIFA World Cup. The Black Stars have qualified to the AFCON to be played in Cameroon while they wait for another draw to determine their last hurdle to qualify for the World Cup also be played in Qatar. Both events would be hosted in 2022.
Hasaacas Ladies, also defied all odds to make a mark on the continental scene after qualifying to compete in the maiden edition of the CAF Women’s Champions League held in Cairo, Egypt, and finished as runners-up.
The team won all women football competitions organized in the country including the Women’s Premier League, Women’s FA Cup, and maiden First Lady’s Cup.
The continental club champions, Accra Hearts of Oak won the 2020/2021 Ghana Premier League season and also the FA Cup which automatically gave them the Super Cup. Despite their sterling performance in the league, the team failed to make it to the group stages of both the CAF Champions League and the CAF Confederations Cup.
In Table Tennis, the Black Loopers excelled in the 2021 International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Africa championship held in Cameroon. They again hosted a number of local competitions so as to get the players busy
Amateur boxer Samuel Takyi won the 2021 Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG) Sports Personality of the Year at a colorful event which was graced by the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, and the Ga Mantse, Nii Teiko Tackie Tsuru II.