Other Sports of 2014-07-24

Ghana Swimming Team to Impress in Glasgow

The Ghana Swim Team makes its debut participation at the XX Commonwealth Games scheduled to be held in Glasgow, Scotland from the 23rd July to 4th August 2014. This historical feat is as result of the steady progress made by the selected swimmers over the past four (4) years and the wonderful support and cooperation that the Ghana Olympic Committee, the National Sports Authority and other sponsors has given to swimming in Ghana. In a press statement released by William Kyei, the hardworking Secretary General of the Ghana Swimming Federation,he Commonwealth Games is an international multi-sport event, involving athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations. The event was first held in 1930 and has taken place every four years (except 1942 and 1946 which were cancelled due to World War II). The Games are arguably the third largest multi-sport event in the world; after the Olympicsand Asian Games. This year’s edition will see the participation of 70 Commonwealth Nations in twenty-one (21) different sporting disciplines. Ghana will participate in a number of disciplinesincluding;Aquatics (Swimming), Athletics, Para Athletics,Badminton, Boxing, Cycling, Judo, Shooting, Table Tennis, Weightlifting and Powerlifting.Swimmingwill be held over six days (i.e. 24 – 29July 2014) at the Tollcross International Swimming Centre in Glasgow. Ghana’s swimming contingent; Ophelia Swayne, Kwaku Addo, Kwesi Abbiw Jackson, Abeiku Jackson and London based Nana Kwabena Antwi, are poised to make a good debut at the Games. In 2011, the Ghana Swimming Association put together a 10 year strategy to develop young budding swimmers into world champions by 2021. A number of international competitions have been lined up for the swimmers (including participation in Commonwealth Games) aimed at providing the swimmers with the necessary exposure and experience to dominate African and world swimming. Steady progress is being made as these young swimmers, profiled below, continue to improve the national swimming records. Ophelia Swayne, aged 17 is currently Ghana’s best female swimmer, having won the SWAG 2011 promising Star and 2013 Best Swimmer Awards. She was born on 11 November 1996. She is affiliated to the Tesano Dolphins Club.She has participated the 2010 FINA World Championships (short course) in Dubai; 2011 All Africa Games in Maputo; 2012 CANA African Swimming Championship in Kenya; 2013 FINA World Championship in Barcelona; 2013 FINA World Juniors Championship in Dubai; 2013 Lagos International Classics and the 2014 African Youth Games in Botswana. Her Personal Best of 28.10secs in the 50m Freestyle and 29.86 secsin 50m Butterfly were achieved at the 2013 FINA World Championship in Barcelona. She won one Gold and one Silver medal in the 2013 Lagos International Classics in Nigeria. Ophelia just completed her IGCSE (O level) exams at Soul Clinic International School, Accra.She will be competing in the 50m Freestyle and 50m Butterfly events at the Commonwealth Games.Ophelia aspires to be an architect after she ends her swimming career. Drawing, swimming and athletics are her hobbies. Kwaku Addois 17 years. He was born on 26th February 1997.He rose to fame after breaking the National 50m Freestyle and 50m butterfly records until then held by Kofi Anku (26.89secs) and Ralph Quaye(29.64 secs).Kwaku’s time in both events were 25.98 secs and 29.10 for 50m Freestyle and 50m Butterfly respectively. This was at the 2013 Loya Accra Swimming Open Championship held at the University of Ghana Pool in Legon. Kwaku subsequently swum his personal best in both events in the FINA World Championship in Barcelona in July 2013 with the times of 25.47 secs (50m Freestyle) and 28.79 (50m butterfly). Kwaku has participated in the 2013 World Championships in Barcelona; 2013 FINA World Juniors Championship in Dubai, Tesano/Ikoyi Swim meets, International Schwimmfestin Arnsberg, Germany (2011 & 2012), National Unity Games etc. Kwaku just completed IGCSE (O level) exams at the Roman Ridge School, Accra. Aside swimming, Kwaku loves to play soccer. He hopes to be an astute banker after he retires from competitive Swimming. He is affiliated to the Tesano Dolphins Swim Team. He will be participating in the 50m freestyle and Butterfly events. Nana KwabenaNuamahAntwi will be 18 in September 2014 (Born 17 September 1996). He is in the Knoll Boarding House at Harrow School for Boys in London. Antwi recently completed his AS levels exams and would be doing his final A-levels next year for entry into the university.Nana is considered as one of the elite sports men of the school as he is involved in a number of sporting disciplines and the vice-captain of his school swim team.Nana is one of the budding swimmers who is keen on making a mark with regards to Ghana Swimming. He has participated in a number of school competitions but this is his big break. Representing Ghana is a dream come true. His favourite strokes are the freestyle and backstroke. He will participate in the 100 freestyle (PB is 1.01) 50m freestyle (PB of 26.69) and 50m back (PB is 31.19 secs). His ultimate goals in swimming are; to set new national records in the 50mfreestyle& 50m backstroke and Olympics finals. His post swimming aspiration is to be an investment banker/businessman. Kwesi Abbiw Jackson,aged 15 years has been in competitive swimming since 2005. Affiliated to the Tesano Dolphins, PaaKwesi(as he is affectionately called) was born on 13 September 1998. He has participated in a number of competitions including National Open Championships; National Unity Games; Tesano Sports Club vrsIkoyi Club 1933 of Nigeria; International Schwimmfests in Arnsberg, Germany (2011 – 2014); 2013 FINA World Championship in Barcelona and the 2013 FINA World Juniors Championship in Dubai. In Dubai, PaaKwesi set a national record in 100m Freestyle with the time of 58.98secs. He will be swimming 100m Freestyle and the 50m Freestyle (in which he has a PB of 26.36 secs). Kwesi is currently in Grade 9 at Soul Clinic International School. He wants to be a corporate lawyer after his swimming career. Abeiku Jacksonis the 14 year old swimming whiz kid. He was born on 12 April 2000. Affiliated to the Tesano Dolphins, he commencedcompetitive swimming at the age of 5. Fearless of older competition, this young teenager has already started breaking national records in swimming.Abeiku was adjudged the Discovery of the year at the 2013 SWAG Awards, after winning 7 Gold medals in his age category at the 42nd International Schwimmfest Festival in Arnsberg, Germany that year. In 2014, he topped that performance with 9 Gold medals in the 43rd edition of the competition. In the process Abeiku broke the national 50m butterfly (until then held by Kwaku Addo) with 27.18 secs; 100m freestyle (56.71 secs) until then held by his older brother, and 100 butterfly (1.02.56) records. Other national records held by Abeiku include 200m butterfly (2.33.46), 200m freestyle (2.09.12) 50m backstroke (30.50 secs) and 100m backstroke (1.07.46). Abeiku is in Grade 8 at Soul Clinic International School, Accra and aspires to be an electronic engineer after his swimming career.He believes his swimming career will not end until he has a world or Olympic gold medal on his neck. He is affiliated to the Tesano Dolphins Swimming Club. The stand–in national swimming coach, Abbiw Jackson, who is also the founder and team manager of the Tesano Dolphins explained that his swimming team will be the youngest at the games. “They are very young but the fastest swimmers in Ghana. The strategy is to continually give them the exposure that allows them to improve competition after competition. We expect that, in the next 6 – 8 years, they will be considered as world class swimmers and potential medalists in any swimming competition. My team is unique. It has age on its side and is dominating age categorized swimming at international events. With the right kind of support, these extremely young sportsmen will give Ghana several years of domination in swimming. It will happen. It will surely happen” he stated with quiet assurance.Source: Sammy Heywood Okine
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