The General Secretary of the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC), Mr. Richard Akpokavie, has challenged claims by Professor Azumah Nelson that Ghana should not expect any medals from the boxing team in this year’s London Olympic Games.He said with the kind of performance displayed by the young boxers in their qualification fights in Casablanca, at the just ended ECOWAS Games, their triangular tournaments etc the boys are well prepared for the Games.
“Although the last time Ghana won a medal in boxing at the Olympics was in the 60s, with the kind of preparation and training the boys have, we should not write them off” he added.
He also explained that boxing is an unpredictable sport and performances of the boxers will be determined in their draws at the preliminary stages. Mr. Akpokavie made this statement in an interview with Finder Sports over the weekend prior to his departure to London to join Ghana’s delegation for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Ghana will be represented in boxing by Flyweight contender Duke Micah, Light Flyweight seeker Tetteh Sulemanu, UK-based Bantamweight Isaac Zion Dogboe and Heavyweight Maxwell Amponsah.
The General Secretary also confirmed that opening ceremony kits for Ghana’s contingent at this year’s Olympic Games in London has arrived in London He said the kits were flown to London last Saturday evening and hoped the team will have it before the Games start.
He explained that the team was currently training in Plymouth and Cardiff and will move to the Games village in London later today.
“The opening ceremony for the Games is on Friday so the team will definitely have their kits much earlier so there is no cause for alarm” he added.
The GOC secretary also said as part of the country’s motivation for the team, an athlete who wins gold, silver or bronze will receive US$20, 000, US$10, 000 and US$5, 000 respectively.
He however disclosed that the GOC is making plans for athletes who qualify for the Olympic Games in the future to be given qualification bonuses since qualifying for the Games is not achieved on a silver platter.
He also said the GOC will have a meeting with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) within the week in London before they join the team at their base. Mr. Akpokavie also said the GOC has put all measures in place for Ghana’s contingent to make an impact in this year’s Games after the country’s long standing medal hunger at Olympic Games.
Ghana will be participating in boxing, judo, weightlifting and track and field events.