Ghana’s participation in the 2018 Youth Olympics in Argentina ended on Sunday, October 14 after Solomon Diafo finished 8th in the final of the men’s 400m event.
He recorded a total time of 1:37.55 and finished 8th overall.
The rules of the competition state that the athletes should run in two stages of four heats each after which their total times are collated, a best time is chosen and they are ranked accordingly.
The nation sent 5 athletes- Solomon Diafo (men’s 400m), Kelvin Carboo and Eric Tsatsu (men’s beach volleyball), Sandra Owusu (weightlifting) and Abeiku Jackson (swimming)- to the Argentina.
Out of the 5, Owusu and Diafo made the finals of their respective events but failed to make medal places.
Owusu came 7th in the women’s 58kg event.
The beach volleyball team finished 3rd in Pool G after recording one win and two losses.
They beat Monaco but lost to Hungary and Costa Rica. They then lost to Argentina to finish in 17th place together with Chile, Poland, Gambia, Puerto Rico, Paraguay, Venezuela.
Jackson made the semifinals of the 50m butterfly event but failed to reach the same stage of the 100m.
Another international competition and it is yet another episode of Ghana not having anything to show for it. Clearly, the nation is still behind in terms of preparing for such events and making a huge impact.
Before the athletes left for Argentina, there were stated cash rewards for those who would excel meaning that there were hopes of getting some medals.
But were there adequate preparations to make those demands on the athletes?
After losing their opening match in the beach volleyball event, Kelvin Carboo and Eric Tsatsu said their opponents from Hungary were better and that was very instructive in highlighting the difference in quality.
In total, Ghana won one of their four matches in the volleyball event.
We are yet to see what the plans are in terms of preparing for Tokyo 2020 but if things do not change, our participation in that competition will be just that: a participation.
The authorities need to a lot more and expose our young athletes to top-level competition to help them improve on their skill. That is the only way we, as a country, will make the desired impact on the world.
By: Citi Sports