54 several years back today in Kingston, Jamaica, the special 4x100m quartet comprising Bonner K. Mends, Ebenezer Charles Oko Addy, James Aryee Addy and Stanley Fabian Allotey gained gold for Ghana in grand type at the 1966 Commonwealth Game titles.
The young and energetic Ghanaian athletes established a game titles document, and denied hosts, Jamaica, of gold.
Apart the exploits of Ghana’s only golden 4x100m quartet on the international stage, a key member of the team, Allotey, was in the highlight just after he snatched gold in the 220 yards in a document of 20.06 secs on the closing day of the event.
Ghana has competed at 16 various Commonwealth Online games, beginning in 1954 and missing only the 1986 Games in Edinburgh.
Ghana’s medal haul at the multisport party stands at 57, which include 15 gold, with all but one particular of people medals coming in athletics.
Ghana’s 1966 achievements story on the tracks cannot be overemphasized due to the fact of the giants the golden quartet had been up towards. The gallant males who operate the initial and 3rd legs, Mends and Aryee Addy have sadly passed on but Allotey and Oko Addy are nonetheless alive, residing in the United States and Ghana respectively.
Allotey has retired from energetic operate following 21 a long time at Crompton Local community Higher education as a Matriculation and Transfer Expert in the United States but Oko Addy is back residence after quite a few a long time away in the United States as well.
To last but not least get to notify the wonderful story, I paid Oko Addy (nicknamed Daddy Long Legs) a check out at his residence in Accra. At almost 80, and by yourself these times soon after the passing of his spouse, Professor Ewurama Addy of the Countrywide Science and Maths quiz fame, Oko is now occupied with church and says he has “special choir follow sessions” at residence.
The big, and however sturdy legend with huge smiles explained to me about the achievements story of years again and at a time a lot of doubted their prowess on the international phase, his narration saved me nodding all through. The title Oko Addy are not able to be omitted when the roll phone of Commonwealth gold medalists is outlined. I requested him about his practical experience that day In Kingston and he answered as if he had authored a book waiting around to be bought.
“At the Commonwealth Game titles, it was usually amongst Terrific Britain, Australia, Jamaica with Ghana and Nigeria also lurking all over. Inspite of the possible, not quite a few folks believed Ghana would acquire but we as athletes ended up very absolutely sure we could surprise the competitiveness.
“At the elimination levels, Jamaica experienced the finest qualifying periods and right before their dwelling crowd, they have been very confident they would gain the ultimate effortlessly because between the six groups that experienced, they looked the strongest. All their four athletes experienced received specific medals when Stanley Allotey was the only 1 with a medal on our team.”
“At the starter’s gun, they took off with terrific velocity. Bonner Mends started out, I was in second area and that was wherever the celebration was gained. I went ahead of all the other opponents and ensured that James Addy had a very good distance to do the job in just and preserving our guide. Lastly, Allotey raced towards the Jamaican he had overwhelmed in that race. It was a limited contest involving the two and by the time they were being about 10 meters absent from the complete line, it was far too near to phone.”
“Allotey experienced to restrain himself and stay centered to steer clear of remaining overtaken by Jamaica who did nicely to capture up. We finished with a time of 39.8 seconds even though they concluded on 40 seconds with Australia coming third with that exact same time.”
“I keep in mind I just screamed and gave my colleagues a massive hug. Sincerely, right before then I imagined that time was unattainable but then I commenced to assume of what following would come about in the subsequent races. It was unimaginable and I struggled to independent actuality from fantasy.”
The feat chalked by Oko Addy and his mates has because not be replicated on the international stage – the closest any squad has come becoming silver in the late 70’s and 80’s. These times at the Commonwealth Game titles, Ghana has constantly failed to take care of medals in athletics or extremely several in other disciplines.
The Environment Athletics Championships have not available any joy as properly in the final ten years and far more. To place it in suitable context, due to the fact 1983 when the IAAF Entire world Athletics Championships was instituted, Kenya has won 151 medals, South Africa 27, Nigeria 9 and Ghana has just two with none coming in the very last ten many years.
The 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015 , 2017 and 2019 Environment Athletic Championships ended with no medals for Ghana, right after their accomplishment in the Africa Game titles (formerly All Africa Games), anticipations ended up 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 final year, but sad to say for Crew Ghana, they had been pitted versus some of the world’s greatest runners which manufactured it difficult for them to get a spot in the finals.
While their 38.24 secs finish in warmth 2 was an improvement on the time they manufactured to get gold at the African Online games.
The country’s to start with medal at what was then acknowledged as the British Empire and Commonwealth Video games arrived at the 1958 version of the game titles via higher jumper Robert Kotei who gained bronze with a bounce of 2.00m. Kotei later on turned a soldier and a politician, and was tragically executed in the 1979 June 4 uprising in Ghana.
Oko Addy seemed unimpressed about the gulf in class at the moment amongst Jamaica (a nation they applied to beat) and Ghana now. Of class, Jamaica, these times, make entire world beaters and Ghana on the other hand are struggling to get regarded in athletics circles throughout the world.
“I experience sad that the huge prospect that Ghana experienced has been created to die. In the earlier, Jamaica experienced a robust existence in athletics but they had been pretty careful when they came up towards Ghana. But now, they are way in advance of us for the easy explanation that they tapped the expertise that they have, prepared to be the greatest in that group and designed sure that the factors needed ended up presented.”
“Things have improved and that really should have been to our edge too. Lots of far more men and women have entry to data on athletics, nutrition has improved, and there is know-how as very well as enhanced coaching facilities. We never make good use of what we have. In point, arranging and firm are our bane.”
When we hope directors and govt unite to alter the recent narrative, may perhaps we hardly ever forget to salute the initiatives of the tremendous quartet who put Ghana on the map with really hard do the job on 13th of August 1966, history’s golden site.
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