Veteran Sports Journalist Ken Bediako-The Writer

By Ken Bediako

The countdown to the 13th African Games being hosted by Ghana is in top gear. The Local Organising Committee is firing on all cylinders to honour their ambitious promise of staging the best continental sports festival in history.

And they really seem to mean business. We all saw on TV last week the elaborate commissioning of the state of the art sports facilities by President Akufo-Addo at Borteyman, a suburb of Accra.

First class sports amenities I tell you, seriously if you appraise the amazing world class structures Cote D’Ivoire provided for the just ended Afcon 23, Ghana can’t afford to lower the standards for the African Games in Accra. No option here. We have to endorse Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah’s dictum that “the Blackman is capable of managing his own affairs” and come out with a brilliant show.

And this brings me to the splendid idea by electronic media organisation, Citi TV, to sponsor a National Invitational Schools Athletics Championships dubbed NISAC 24, to be held at the beautifully refurbished University of Ghana Stadium at Legon to herald the African Games.

This is a timely multi-purpose fruitful exercise that will boost the Africa Games as well as rekindle interest in the famous “Interco athletics series” that helped to unearth a lot of national athletes in the good old days.

May I take this opportunity to praise the efforts of this progressive electronic media outfit for their diverse contributions to society on the whole.

Their recent massive contribution to the rehabilitation of the Volta river floods victims is a big feather in the cap of the company. I admire their vision and foresight. This can only come from a fertile brain. I expect a heavy patronage for the six  day event which begins on February 24 featuring nearly 2,000 athletes from more than 40 senior high schools across the country.

Now let me switch to the memory lane and continue with my series on Ghana’s participation in the African Games since the kick off in 1965

We are now on the 5th Games in Cairo Egypt 1991.

Once again Ghana participated in only seven of the 18 disciplines on parade in Cairo. The entries were Taekwondo, Boxing, Hockey, Tennis, Athletics Volleyball and Table Tennis. The 94 member Ghanaian contingent returned home with two gold, four silver and six bronze. For the first time, Ghana’s athletics team failed to win gold. The best was silver and five bronze medals with sprints star Emmanuel Tufuor winning silver and bronze.

No female athlete won a medal this time.

Ghana’s gold medals were earned in boxing and Taekwondo. Lightflyweight Steve Dotse won boxing gold and Hanson Adu. Won gold in Taekwondo.

The tennis men’s doubles pair of Frank Ofori and Ken Dowuona won the silver medal to record Ghana’s first tennis medal since the birth of the Games. The Ghana pair lost 2-6,2-6 to Rashid Hassan and Malcom Birch of Zimbabwe in the final.

In the tennis singles, Nortey Dowuona crashed out at the quarter final stages after beating Sony Kamara of Guinea in the preliminaries.

Although both the men and women’s volleyball teams failed to win a medal, the women placed a creditable fourth position missing narrowly 9-15,15-6,15-6, 9-15,13-15 to Cameroun.

Contestants in table tennis men and women and the men’s hockey team could not make it to the medals zone in their respective events.

In hockey, Ghana lost 3-0 to Kenya, beat Zimbabwe 3-0, lost 1-7 to Egypt and drew 1-1 with Nigeria.

In table tennis men’s team events, Ghana beat Kenya 5-0 but were eliminated by Tunisia 5-2.

The women also won the first game 3-1 against Uganda but crashed out 3-0 to Egypt in the next round.


Lightflyweight Steve Dotse stopped Anitet Rosoanairo of Madagascar in the first round to win the gold medal.

Superheavyweight IIlliadi Alhassan lost to Igbineghu Richard of Nigeria in the final to clinch the silver. Flyweight Alex Baba outpointed Duncan Karanja of Kenya to reach the medal zone which gave him the bronze.


  1. Emmanuel Tuffuor 200m 20.9 secs silver

2. Emmanuel Tuffuor 100m 19.3 secs bronze

3. Kennedy Osei 800m 1min 48.41 secs bronze

4. Timothy Hesse, Nelson Boateng, Kennedy Osei, Ahmed Aliu 4x400m 3mins 8.18 secs bronze.

Some noteworthy individual performances in athletics were Timothy Hesse 400m fourth placed 46.72 secs; Cynthia Quartey 5th in 100m semis 12.11 secs and Naomi Mills clocking 12. 3 secs also in the 100m.

A big setback for the Ghana athletics team was that it could not field the traditional powerful men’s team quartet. What happened was that American based sprinters Leo Myles Mills, Eric Akogyeram and Solomon Amegatcher failed to turn up for the Games. They had asked permission to return to the US after the Mobil athletics trials in Accra a few weeks to the Games but they failed to meet the team in Cairo as arranged.

So far so good.

My next instalment will focus on the 6th Games in Harare, Sept 13-23 1995.

Cheers everybody and keep loving sports.