President of the Ghana Olympics Committee, Ben Nunoo Mensah says qualification of athletes would not have been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic if they were financially adequately funded.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) postponed the Olympic Games due to the outbreak of COVID-19 globally as countries battle with the effects of the virus.
Only four Ghanaian athletes have qualified for the postponed 2020 Games to be hosted by Tokyo in Japan next summer.
Speaking on Citi TV’s the Tracker, Nunoo Mensah said Ghana should focus a lot more on funding athletes so they can be able to participate in qualifiers early to avoid unforeseen circumstances like COVID-19.
“I think the problem in this country is that we wait to the very last minute to do things. And this is not good for a nation which wants to develop.
Most of the athletes could have completed our qualifiers in 2018. But the challenge they had was that most of them didn’t have the money to go through with those qualifiers until the GOC came in to help them.
That was what enabled them to go through their qualifiers. An example is boxing. We had to fund their entire trip to Senegal and we spent close to $20,000 dollars which covered their accommodation, feeding, plane tickets,
So if we were up and doing with our arts, these athletes would’ve gone through all these qualifiers in 2018. The other problem is that most of the international federations had not outlined dates for the last bit of qualifiers for athletes.
I think we should be learning from these things and do better”.
Ghana currently has four athletes who have qualified for the Tokyo Games which has been rescheduled for 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic: Nadia Eke – Triple Jump, Joseph Paul Amoah – Sprinter, Samuel Takyie – Boxer, Sulemana Tetteh – Boxer while Daniel Kankam has also qualified for the Paralympics.