Home World Oko Addy tells Ghana’s extraordinary 1966 Commonwealth gold story

Oko Addy tells Ghana’s extraordinary 1966 Commonwealth gold story


54 years back right now in Kingston, Jamaica, the particular 4x100m quartet comprising Bonner K. Mends, Ebenezer Charles Oko Addy, James Aryee Addy and Stanley Fabian Allotey gained gold for Ghana in grand fashion at the 1966 Commonwealth Games.

The young and energetic Ghanaian athletes established a game titles report, and denied hosts, Jamaica, of gold.

Aside the exploits of Ghana’s only golden 4x100m quartet on the global stage, a critical member of the team, Allotey, was in the highlight right after he snatched gold in the 220 yards in a record of 20.06 secs on the closing day of the event.

Oko Addy recounting how he broke the record in 1966

Ghana has competed at 16 unique Commonwealth Game titles, starting in 1954 and lacking only the 1986 Online games in Edinburgh.

Ghana’s medal haul at the multisport party stands at 57, like 15 gold, with all but one particular of individuals medals coming in athletics.

Ghana’s 1966 accomplishment tale on the tracks can’t be overemphasized because of the giants the golden quartet were being up against. The gallant men who operate the to start with and 3rd legs, Mends and Aryee Addy have sadly passed on but Allotey and Oko Addy are however alive, residing in the United States and Ghana respectively.

From L-R: James Aryee(RIP), Stanley Allotey, Bonner K. Mends(RIP) & Ebenezer Charles O. Addy

Allotey has retired from lively perform soon after 21 a long time at Crompton Community Faculty as a Matriculation and Transfer Expert in the United States but Oko Addy is back again house following quite a few years absent in the United States too.

To last but not least get to tell the superb tale, I compensated Oko Addy (nicknamed Daddy Lengthy Legs) a stop by at his property in Accra. At almost 80, and on your own these times just after the passing of his wife, Professor Ewurama Addy of the National Science and Maths quiz fame, Oko is now fast paced with church and says he has “special choir apply sessions” at household.

Joy Sports’ George Addo Jnr and Commonwealth Gold Medalist Oko Addy

The massive, and nonetheless powerful legend with vast smiles advised me about the achievements story of several years again and at a time numerous doubted their prowess on the intercontinental stage, his narration saved me nodding all by. The name Oko Addy are not able to be omitted when the roll connect with of Commonwealth gold medalists is mentioned. I asked him about his working experience that day In Kingston and he answered as if he experienced authored a ebook waiting to be offered.

“At the Commonwealth Games, it was usually in between Terrific Britain, Australia, Jamaica with Ghana and Nigeria also lurking all over. Even with the potential, not several people thought Ghana would get but we as athletes were really positive we could surprise the competition.

“At the elimination stages, Jamaica had the very best qualifying occasions and in advance of their residence crowd, they were pretty self-confident they would acquire the ultimate easily due to the fact among the the six groups that capable, they appeared the strongest. All their four athletes had gained individual medals while Stanley Allotey was the only one with a medal on our crew.”

“At the starter’s gun, they took off with fantastic pace. Bonner Mends started out, I was in second area and that was exactly where the event was received. I went in advance of all the other competitors and ensured that James Addy experienced a good length to operate in and keeping our guide. Lastly, Allotey raced towards the Jamaican he experienced crushed in that race. It was a restricted contest concerning the two and by the time they ended up about 10 meters absent from the finish line, it was much too close to call.”

“Allotey had to restrain himself and continue to be concentrated to steer clear of staying overtaken by Jamaica who did very well to capture up. We completed with a time of 39.8 seconds whilst they completed on 40 seconds with Australia coming 3rd with that same time.”

“I bear in mind I just screamed and gave my colleagues a significant hug. Sincerely, just before then I believed that time was unattainable but then I started to believe of what up coming would happen in the subsequent races. It was unimaginable and I struggled to different actuality from fantasy.”

The feat chalked by Oko Addy and his mates has considering that not be replicated on the international stage – the closest any squad has come currently being silver in the late 70’s and 80’s. These days at the Commonwealth Games, Ghana has constantly unsuccessful to deal with medals in athletics or pretty handful of in other disciplines.

The World Athletics Championships have not provided any joy as nicely in the previous decade and a lot more. To set it in right context, considering the fact that 1983 when the IAAF Planet Athletics Championships was instituted, Kenya has gained 151 medals, South Africa 27, Nigeria 9 and Ghana has just two with none coming in the past 10 several years.

The 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015 , 2017 and 2019 Entire world Athletic Championships finished with no medals for Ghana, soon after their results in the Africa Game titles (previously All Africa Games), expectations had been rife that the men’s quartet of Sean Safo-Antwi, Benjamin Azamati, Martin Owusu-Antwi, and Joseph Paul Amoah would make the last of the 4x100m relay In Doha past year, but however for Team Ghana, they ended up pitted towards some of the world’s most effective runners which built it not possible for them to seize a location in the finals.

Even though their 38.24 secs end in warmth 2 was an improvement on the time they built to gain gold at the African Games.

The country’s first medal at what was then recognized as the British Empire and Commonwealth Games arrived at the 1958 version of the video games by means of substantial jumper Robert Kotei who received bronze with a soar of 2.00m. Kotei later on turned a soldier and a politician, and was tragically executed in the 1979 June 4 rebellion in Ghana.

Oko Addy appeared unimpressed about the gulf in class at the moment between Jamaica (a place they made use of to beat) and Ghana now. Of course, Jamaica, these times, produce earth beaters and Ghana on the other hand are having difficulties to get regarded in athletics circles globally.

“I experience unfortunate that the big prospect that Ghana experienced has been made to die. In the previous, Jamaica had a solid existence in athletics but they were quite careful when they arrived up against Ghana. But now, they are way ahead of us for the very simple cause that they tapped the talent that they have, planned to be the best in that category and manufactured guaranteed that the issues desired have been delivered.”

“Things have enhanced and that must have been to our gain much too. Many far more people today have obtain to information and facts on athletics, diet has enhanced, and there is engineering as very well as improved education services. We really don’t make good use of what we have. In point, scheduling and organization are our bane.”

Although we hope administrators and authorities unite to change the present narrative, may possibly we hardly ever overlook to salute the endeavours of the super quartet who put Ghana on the map with tricky function on 13th of August 1966, history’s golden webpage.

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