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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

How a challenge from a Canadian athlete motivated Ghana’s 1966 Commonwealth team to win gold

Ghana's gold winning relay team in the 1966 Commonwealth Gamesplay videoGhana’s gold winning relay team in the 1966 Commonwealth Games

Ghana’s 200-meter record holder, Ebenezer Oko Addy has recalled how the annoyance of a Canadian athlete motivated him to help Ghana win gold at the 1966 Commonwealth Games.

Just like many sporting disciplines, there’s always room for trash talk and it either demoralizes or motivates athletes to do better.

At the 1966 Commonwealth Games in Kingston, Jamaica, Canadian athlete, Bohdan Domansky infuriated a determined Ebenezer Charles Oko Addy.

Domansky had told Oko Addy that he would bypass him after 50 yards. The Ghanaian athlete who was unintimidated by the Canadian welcomed the challenge in good faith.

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“The Canadian in lane 7 just before we begun the race, came to me and said I’m going to catch up with you after 50 yards,” Oko Addy said on GhanaWeb’s Sports Check show.

“So that took me back to 1964 in Tokyo with Bob Hays where I promise not to let anyone intimidate me. So I told him, catch me if you can,” the 80-year-old recalls. Ghana came into the Men’s 4×100 race as favourites after setting a new record of 39.9 seconds in the heats.

According to him, when the gun sounded, he was far ahead of the pack leaving his contenders behind.

Oko Addy said, “When the gun went, I was with the gun, the commentator remarked that Ghana had a good start. I was flying.”

Ghana finished the race as winners with Jamaica, Australia, Wales, Canada, Nigeria, England, Trinidad and Tobago all trailing behind in respective order.

The team set a new record in the Men’s 4×100 race after finishing with a new World record of 39.8 seconds.

Watch Sports Check episode with Ebenezer Oko Addy below

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