Rio Olympics: We were robbed – Chef de mission

Other Sports of Friday, 26 August 2016



Chef MissionGhana’s chef de mission to the games, Christopher Essilfie

Some members of Ghana’s contingent in the just-ended Rio Olympics were robbed in some of the disciplines they took part in, hence their inability to win any medal in the Games, Ghana’s chef de mission to the games, Christopher Essilfie, has said.

He revealed that his own observation indicated, Abdul Wahid Omar, Ghana’s boxer was completely robbed.

His allegation follows several concerns raised by Ghanaians regarding what they believed was the abysmal performance of the athletes in the event in Brazil.

Many Ghanaians were left disappointed by the performance of Team Ghana at the games. The country’s 16-member team failed to advance beyond the first round of their individual competitions.

Several people including Ghana Boxing Association (GBA) President Peter Zwennes raised concerns about the participation of Ghana’s contingent in the games following the poor showing.

The GBA boss criticised the government of Ghana and the Ministry of Youth and Sports for paying too much attention to football, particularly to the Black Stars – the senior football team – to the detriment of other sports, culminating in the poor showing of Ghana’s contingent at the Rio Olympics. According to Mr Zwennes, who is also a private legal practitioner, the nation’s sports would continue to sink if governments did not give attention to other disciplines as much as it does for sports.

He told Class Sports’ Kwame Dwomoh- Agyemang: “You have a country which is ready to spend $1 million on every Black Stars match. Look at the Olympic Games, look at the athletes we put forward – none of them went beyond the first round of their respective disciplines. I mean, if you don’t commit money to the sport, how do you expect to gain? We have gotten our priorities wrong and we don’t want to fund any other sport apart from [football, the Black Stars,] and we think we want to make progress? No, we shall not make any progress.”

But speaking to Class Sports in an interview on Thursday August 25, the chef de mission to the 2016 Rio Olympics, Mr Essilfie, said: “I was never disappointed. Everybody who came to the games had qualified. The fact that our people did not make the medals does not mean they were even last in all the events. For instance, the javelin thrower – he qualified in Cape Coast; he threw 83 [metres]. Anybody who came to the game [from other countries] also threw 83 [metres]. At the end of the day, he even overthrew the two Americans who also made more than 83 before coming to the games and so why will I say that I am disappointed, I am never disappointed.”

“The times that they made in Cape Coast were real and they were credible and that is how come they qualified. For me…the fact that you made a good time doesn’t mean it will be the same time and will definitely improve on the next day you went to compete; it doesn’t work that way, so I wasn’t disappointed. Indeed, there were some of the events that we could have advanced. Like boxing, for instance, some of us, though without technical eyes, realised he had been robbed.”

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