Black Stars of 1968 celebrating their invitation to the Mexico Olympics. From left are Ben Kusi, John Eshun, Ibrahim Sunday, Amusa Gbadamosi, Wilberforce Mfum and Jones Attuquayefio

By Ken Bediako

Like Tokyo 1964, Ghana once again entered tor boxing, athletics and football in Mexico 1968. The football was however an invitation from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) because the zonal winners, Morocco, pulled out. Their reason was that, politically they felt uncomfortable being in the same group with Israel in the preliminaries. In the qualifying, series Ghana were the best losers that’s why the Black Stars were invited to replace Morocco.

Athletics saw only one woman Alice Anum among the squad of nine competitors. The eight men were Mike Ahey, J. A. Addy, J.K. Ametepey, Edward Owusu, William Quaye, Sam Bugri, J.O Amoah, and Robert Hackman. Sprinter Mike Ahey was eliminated in the 100 metres second round Heats. He had placed third in the first round timed 10.5 secs. He was also 13th in the long jump with 25ft 6in.

2. J. Addy was eliminated in the semi-final of 200 metres placing 4th in 39.9 secs.

3. J.K. Ametepe was eliminated semi-finals 800 metres 1 min 52.4 secs erasing, 02 secs off the national record.

4. 4×100 metres relay quartet of Edward Owusu, Mike Ahey, William Quaye J.A. Addy eliminated in heats, clocking 39.9 secs.

5. Robert Hackman fell out after five laps in the 5000 metres complaining of muscle pull.

6. Alice Anum was eliminated first heats 200 metres in 23.9 secs breaking national record of 24.7 secs. She was disqualified in the long jump.

7. Sam Bugri was eliminated in the semi-finals of the 400metres in 45 8 secs.

8. J.O Amoah failed to reach the final of the triple jump but his leap of 50ft 9in was a national record.

In boxing the seven-man contingent was made up of flyweight Joe Destimo, Bantamweight Sulley Shittu, Lightweight Anthony Martey, Lightwelterweight Aaron Popoola, Lightmiddleweight Prince Amartey, Middleweight George Aidoo and Heavyweight Adonis Ray.

Apart from Sulley Shittu and Prince Amartey who won a fight each, the remaining boxers were all eliminated in the first round.

. A. Addy sprints and 400 metres legend of four Olympic Games-Rome 1960, Tokyo 1964, Mexico 1968 and Munich 1972

Bantamweight Sulley Shittu outpointed Dary Dasubab of Niger in his first fight before losing

a split points decision to Horst Rasher of West Germany.

Lightmiddleweight Prince Amartey also outpointed Saleh Abdul Wahab of Sudan in his first fight but lost the next encounter.

Flyweight Joe Destimo was stopped in the third round by Serillo De Oliveira of Brazil.

Lightweight Anthony Martey was outpointed by Enzo Petriglia of Italy.

Welterweight Aaron Popoola was outpointed by Celah Sandal of Turkey.

Heavyweight Adonis Ray was outpointed by Joaquin Rocha of Mexico.

The football contingent of the Black Stars was made up of goalkeepers John Naawu, Robert Mensah and John Botchway defenders; Oliver Acquah, Ben Kusi, Jonathan Kpakpo Allotey, Addo Odametey, John Eshun-midfielders and forwards

Abukari Gariba, George Alhassan, Amusa Gbadamosi, Jones Attuquayefio, Osei Kofi, Akuamoah Boateng, Sammy Stephens, Ibrahim Sunday, Robert Foley and Malik Jabir.

The Black Stars lost their first match 5-3 to Israel in an ill-tempered match in Leon, which developed into a free for all fight midway through the second half.

French referee Michel Kitabajain sacked

George Alhassan and Jones Attuquayefio who were banned for two matches. Later the Ghana Amateur Football Association (GAFA) suspended Addo Odametey and Abukari Gariba for six months each for their bad conduct.

Addo Odametey was alleged to have jumped on the referee and taken his whistle whilst Abukari kicked him.

In the second match at Guadalajara, the Black Stars fought a pulsating 2-2 draw. All the goals came in the first half. Ibrahim Sunday and Sammy Stephens got Ghana’s goals. Antal Dunai and Ivan Menzel netted for Hungary .

Ghana took the lead in the 10th minute through Ibrahim Sunday but the Hungarians struck back

gamely and scored two quick goals in the 35th and 39th minutes through Dunai and Ivan to take a surprise lead. However, a good pass from wizard dribbler Osei Kofi found sharp shooter Sammy Stephens who delivered a carpet shot to earn the equaliser just before the recess.

No goals were scored in the exciting second half in which goalkeeper John Naawu was outstanding.

With only one point in two games, Ghana failed to reach the qualifying stages when the Black Stars split the points with El Salvador in the last of the group matches in Leon.

Rodriguez gave El Salvador the lead three minutes before half time and ace winger Osei Kofi scored from the spot in the 56th minute to get the equaliser.

On the whole, the Ghana contingent of footballers, boxers and track and field athletes returned home empty handed.

Next episode Ghana at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

Cheers everybody and keep loving sports.