Sports News of Friday, 10 March 2017
Sean Safo-Antwi has told The Voice that he should have made the switch from representing Great Britain to Ghana ‘ages’ ago.
The north London-born sprinter realised a dream last year when he went to Brazil to take part in the Olympic Games.
While many who grew up with Safo-Antwi knew he was a talented and energetic youngster, few would have predicted that he would go on to represent his parents country of birth on sports grandest stage. He enthused:
“I should have made the switch years ago.
“I’m so glad I did it because I’ve now been to an Olympic Games, which is something I always wanted to do.”
Talking about his decision to compete for Ghana as opposed to Team GB, Safo-Antwi said:
“Going to an Olympic Games is the biggest thing athletes can experience, there is no better than that.
“I’ve been brought up by a Ghanaian family and it made sense to try and firstly become good enough to compete for the country and then secondly qualify.
“Once I believed I was good enough the decision was easy. My whole house is Ghana.
“My mum talks to me all day, everyday in Twi. I don’t speak the language fluently but I do understand it and can articulate myself when I need to.
“I’m British but the blood that runs through me is Ghanaian. There isn’t anything about the culture that I’m not aware of and if there is, I’ll learn it quickly.”
Safo-Antwi says it was a first Olympic Games for most of the athletes that he shared accommodation with in the athletes village during the Games in Rio.
The 27-year-old admitted that while being a part of a Team GB squad can be a great feeling, there was also the underlying sense of competitiveness which didn’t always bode well for a team environment.
“When I met my team mates for the first time it was all love, it was the first time I had met a lot of them and they showed me why it was the right decision to be a part of Team Ghana. It was a brotherhood. I can’t say it was like that with Team GB.
“That’s something that will stay with me forever. Being accepted in that manner was humbling. Being a part of it all also made my mum proud.”
Talking about the impact of Ghana’s 60th anniversary on his household, Safo-Antwi said:
“It’s a big thing, 60 years of independence. It will be marked as a special occasion in my house, no doubt my mum will be cooking up a storm. And yes, there will be Jollof rice, plenty of it. Everybody knows we (Ghanaians) make the best Jollof.”