Ghanaians are everywhere. This is a mantra you hear a lot and even if you think it an exaggeration, there are times you are tempted to believe there is truth in that assertion.
At the ongoing Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, a lot of athletes of Ghanaian descent have been seen competing for other countries, with others winning medals.
It is not a new phenomenon but it would appear this year, the numbers are a bit on the high side.
Earlier today, Thursday, August 5, the Ghanaian 4×100 relay team qualified for the finals of the relay smashing the Nationa Record in the process. To put it into context, the last time Ghana progressed from the Mens 4x100m Heats was in 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. That was 25 years ago and only two of the 4 runners today were born at the time.
While that was a big feat, it was surreal to see that there were four other athletes of Ghanaian descent competing for other countries in the relays.
Here are some of the athletes of Ghanaian heritage competing for other countries at the Olympic Games.
Kojo Musah (born 15 April 1996) is an athlete who competes internationally for Denmark. He represented his country at the 2021 European Indoor Championships finishing eighth in the final.
He has a Ghanaian father and a Danish mother.His last victories are the men’s 100 m in the Karlstad GP 2021 and the men’s 100 m – race 1 in the Kladno Hází A Kladenské Memoriály 2021. He competes in 100 m, 200 m, 60 m, 4×100 m relay and 4×200 m relay. He represents the club: Aarhus 1900.
Bismark Boateng (born March 15, 1992) is a Canadian track and field athlete specializing in sprint events. Boateng moved to Canada when he was 14 for better opportunities and lives in Toronto, Ontario.
Bismark studied at Monsignor Percy Johnson Catholic Secondary School in Etobicoke. Boateng was originally a soccer player but decided to switch to track and field after watching the 2012 Canadian Olympic trials. Boateng started running competitively in 2013.
Boateng’s first major competition was the 2015 Summer Universiade, where he finished in 11th in the 100 m and 10th in the 4×100 relay. Boateng competed at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, where he made the semifinals in the 200 m and was disqualified in the 4×100 relay.
At the 2018 NACAC Championships in his hometown of Toronto, Boateng was part of the gold medal 4×100 relay winning team.
In July 2021, Boateng was named to Canada’s 2020 Olympic team in the men’s 100 metres and 4×100 relay.
Bismark Boateng of Canada has confirmed what we’ve been suspecting for long????
— George Addo Jnr (@addojunr) August 5, 2021
Lucas Ansah-Peprah (born 16 January 2000) is an athlete who competes internationally for Germany. His last victories are the men’s 4×100 m relay in the European Team Championships 2021 and the men’s 4×200 m relay in the World Relay Championships 2021. He competes in 100 m, 200 m, 4×100 m relay and 4×200 m relay. He took up the sport in 2016.
He played football as a youth but was encouraged to try athletics by his physical education teacher at school. “I particularly liked the fact that we cheered each other on and motivated each other as a team. I thought of athletics as an individual sport, everyone is fighting for themselves. But it wasn’t like that.” (jugendtrainiert.com, 14 Aug 2019)
Ansah is a 21-year-old who has been in fine form in the last year. He competes for Germany and hopes for bigger things in the years ahead.
American athlete of Ghanaian descent, Tamyra Mensah-Stock became the first black woman to win an Olympic gold medal in Wrestling at the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday. Tamyra Mensah-Stock won gold in the women’s freestyle 68kg wrestling final after defeating Nigeria’s Blessing Oborududu 4-1.
The American athlete who was unable to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Rio said she was confident coming into this battle.
“Yes, I knew I could do it. I knew it would be hard. I prayed I could do it. In my wildest dreams, I knew I could do it,” Mensah-Stock said on winning an Olympic gold medal.
The athlete of Ghanaian descent who lost her father last year said, her father “would have been the loudest one here. He would be so proud. He would be so happy. He’s from Ghana too… he was like enemies with Nigeria so it’s kind of poetic I had to wrestle a Nigerian in the finals,” Mensah-Stock said through tears of joy.