A triumphant Team Ghana returned home with three boxing medals from the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Abraham Mensah and Joseph Commey both won silver at the Games while Abdul Wahid Omar finished with a bronze medal out of the nine Ghana boxers that competed in Birmingham – an impressive feat for the boxing rich nation.
Mensah and Commey missed the chance to end the nation’s 24-year wait to win gold in boxing after losing their final bouts.
Mensah lost a unanimous 5-0 decision to Dylan James Eagleson of Northern Ireland in a bantamweight bout on Sunday. Commey pulled out of his scheduled featherweight final fight with Irish Jude Gallagher due to ill health.
Kwasi Ofori Asare, trainer of the Black Bombers – the Ghana national boxing squad – told BoxingAfrica.com that the country could have won more medals in boxing if the state had better prepared the team and provided more support to them prior to the competition.
“We were determined to win something for our country despite the poor preparations of these boxers and I’m glad we did.
“Winning three medals is an improvement on our last performance in 2018 but I believe we could have won more medals with a better preparation,” Asare said.
Ghana’s only female boxing representative, Ornella Sathoud, opened the nation’s quest for medals in the sport at the Round of 32 stage but lost 0-5 to England’s Kerry Davis in a middleweight clash on July 29.
On the same day, light heavyweight Shakul Samed was suspended by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) for failing a doping test conducted for athletes. The Olympian was subsequently sent home by Team Ghana’s leadership in Birmingham after failing to compete.
At middleweight, Abubakar Quartey failed to beat Adeyinka Benson of Nigeria when he was defeated 3-2 in a Round of 16 tie on Sunday, July 31.
Samuel Yaw Addo failed to qualify for the quarter finals when he lost 2-3 to Clepson Antonio Dos Sant. Paiva of Northern Ireland.
At welterweight, India’s Rohit Tokas was too strong for Alfred Kotey in a Round of 16 clash while Jessie Lartey lost a Round of 16 tie to England’s Mohammed Harris Akbar in a light middleweight clash.
Ghana had a relatively poor camp in preparation for these Games as they went without residential camping for their nine participant boxers. The outcry from the Ghana boxing community went ignored by the powers that be.
Even so, the boxing team managed to win the most medals in Birmingham, an accomplishment which has led the country’s sports fans to call for a focus on investing in amateur boxing.
Mensah shares in that assertion and notes that the preparations for the African Games which is scheduled for Accra next year must start immediately.
“We have to start preparing early if we want to get the best out of the African Games as host nation,” the proud trainer told BoxingAfrica.com.
“I have faith in our trainers and boxers to deliver more gold medals for the country if the state decides to invest in amateur boxing ahead of next year.”