Ghana’s chef de mission to the 2016 Rio Olympics, Christopher Essilfie has admitted that the country’s immediate target at this year’s edition of the world games is not winning medals.
Ghana has participated in the Olympics since 1962 and has won four medals. The last time was when the Black Meteors won bronze at the football competition in Barcelona ’92.
The nation has since failed to make any significant impact at subsequent Olympic tournaments. This year, Ghana is taking only 16 athletes to Rio – one of its lowest in 54 years at the Olympics.
Speaking on GH One TV morning show “GH Today” Monday, the team manager of the Ghana delegation who just returned from inspecting Ghana’s base in Brazil said the Ghana Olympic Committee’s focus is on:
“The discipline that we send there and the improvement that we see in the performances of our athletes. It’s from that we can consider winning a medal.”
“Any athlete who has qualified for us stands the chance,” Christopher Essilfie told hosts Kafui Dey and Baisiwa Dowuona-Hammond.
He also mentioned that with the consistency of the 4×100 women’s relay team, Ghana has a reasonable chance of making the finals.
“Our 4×100 relay team recently run the 4th fastest time in the world as at 14th July but we’ve dropped to sixth after the games held in Bahamas just last week. Going by it, it places them (Ghana’s 4×100) automatically more or less in the final and when you’re there, it can be anybody’s game.”
The Ghana chef de mission however cautioned “don’t put pressure on our young athletes who have made it. ”
Christopher Essilfie also revealed that Ghana’s 16 athletes for the 2016 Olympics, per the team size calculator, are to be joined by same number of technical officials and are scheduled to arrive at Ghana’s ganes village in Rio by morning of August 3, 2016.