Ghana won its first medal at the ongoing African Youth Championship after weightlifter Juliana Arko secured a silver medal in the girl’s 63kg category on Friday.
Arko, who was competing in her first major international competition after winning eight medals at the African Weightlifting Championships in Casablanca, Morocco last year, finished with a total of 140kg.
She went through the initial snatch phase of the competition with three lifts, and rounded up with three lifts in the clean-and-jerk.
She was prevented from taking a gold medal by an Egyptian athlete (Sarah) while a Moroccan won third place.
The 2013 SWAG Weightlifter of the Year is one of three athletes on a Ghana Olympic Committee sourced Olympic Solidarity Scholarship, and has already qualified to compete in the World Youth Championship in Nanjing, in August.
In a related development, Ghana’s other Weightlifter at the AYG, Christian Amoah will be chasing a medal and qualification to the World Youth Championship when he competes in the boy’s 77kg event on Saturday.
Badminton: Team Ghana misses out on semi finals slot
Ghana’s Badminton Team missed out on a place in the semi finals of the Team event despite an impressive second day performance which saw the young team beating Seychelles 5:0 in their last Group B game.
Team Ghana lost 5:0 to South Africa in their opening Group game on Thursday as Coach Jacob Wilson’s boys and girls struggled with the cold weather conditions and altitude in Gaborone, having only arrived two days to the opening game.
The mixed doubles pair of Emmanuel Botwe and Victoria Asmah went down to South Africa’s Von Bodestein and A. Schoones 22-20 21-9.
Victoria Asmah partnered Diana Archer in the Women’s doubles event but could not restore parity for Team Ghana as they were overwhelmed by A. Schoones and G. Roberts to lose 21-19 21-15.
Diana Archer also lost the women’s singles to J. Van Der Vyver 21-12 21-11.
Ghana’s Abraham Ayittey, the second athlete on a GOC sourced Olympic Solidarity scholarship, then engaged R. Synman in a gruelling men’s singles encounter which could have gone either way. Ayittey clawed back his way into the tie after losing the first set but eventually lost 21-14 19-21 22-20.
The men’s doubles game witnessed a much closer encounter with the pair of Abraham Ayittey and Mohammed Adam winning the first set but B. Von Bodestein and B. Visser staged a dramatic come back to win 18-21 21-15 22-20.
Despite their opening day lose, Coach Jacob Wilson’s boys and girls mounted a serious challenge in their next game against Egypt to secure one of the semi finals slot in the group.
Abraham Ayittey was the star of the show, beating Egypt’s Yousef Essam 21:12 21:10 in the boy’s singles event after the mixed doubles pair Emmanuel Botwe and Victoria Asmah had lost 21:16 21-8 to Egypt’s Elgamal Adham and Mostafa Farida.
After Diana Archer also lost 21-13 21-12 to Hany Doha in the girl’s singles event, Ayittey partnered Mohammed Adam in the boy’s doubles event as they came back from a set down to beat Egypt’s Elgamal Adham and Abdelhakim Abdallah 13-21 21-17 21-17.
But Diana Archer and Victoria Asmah could not hold the nerve in the deciding game, losing 21-18 18-21 21-11 to Egypt’s Hany Doha and Mostafa Farida.
In their last group game against Seychelles, Team Ghana secured a comprehensive victory, winning 5:0 overall.
Meanwhile, Ghana has entered five candidates in the singles event which starts on Sunday.
Table Tennis: Team Ghana progresses
Marian Amankwah Adom and Isaac Amoako are through to the 1/16th stage of their singles event after winning their group games at the ongoing African Youth Games on the opening day of the Table Tennis competition on Friday.
Drawn in group B of the girl’s singles event, Marian Amankwah Adom defeated Algeria’s Sannah Lagsir and Uganda’s Florence Serra, 3:0 respectively.
Isaac Amoako also advanced with 3:0 wins against Botswana’s Peo Thebe and Tunisia’s Karem Ben Yahia respectively.
The competition continues on Saturday.
Ghana’s lone swimmer, Ophelia Swayne is set to be in action in Day three of the competition in the 50-free style and 50 butterfly events respectively. The competition will serve as a qualifier for the World Youth Olympics in Nanjing, in August. Ophelia is the third Ghanaian youth athlete on a GOC sourced Olympic Solidarity scholarship.
Team Ghana, which is made up of 19 athletes and ten officials, are gunning to make the country proud in five sporting disciplines including, athletics, weightlifting, badminton, swimming, table tennis and cycling.
The various disciplines will be represented by ten athletes, two weightlifters, three badminton players, one swimmer, three table tennis players, as well as four badminton players and a cyclist.
The competition which is reserved exclusively for athletes between the ages of 16 -18 started on Thursday 22nd May and will end on Saturday, 31st May.
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