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Profile of Clement Quartey: The African boxer to win a medal at the Olympic Games

Clement Isaac Quartey.jpeg Ghana's first Olympic medalist, Clement Isaac Quartey

Fri, 13 May 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

GhanaWeb Feature

Ghanaian boxer, Clement Isaac Quartey is the first Ghanaian as well as first Afircan to win an Olympic medal in boxing.

At the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome, Italy, Clement Quartey wrote his name in history when he won silver in the Men’s Light Welterweight division.

Quartey’s medal is also Ghana’s first medal at the Summer Games after two appearances.

Born on April 12, 1938 Clement Quartey is one of 27 children of his father who reportedly had five wives.

Clement Quartey is the senior brother of Ghanaian boxing great, Ike [Bazooka] Quartey. He was a talented boxer and grew up in a typical Ga community who loved boxing.

Despite not being part of Ghana’s first contingents at the Olympic Games, Clement Quartey was able to win a medal at his debut appearance.

Formerly known as Gold Coast, Ghana made its first appearance at the Olympics in 1952 with 7 athletes, all of whom competed in track and field.

As a result of Ghana’s fight for independence in the year 1956, the Gold Coast did not participate at the Olympic Games.

After gaining freedom under the presidency of Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah, the country returned to the Olympic Games with 15 athletes and for the first time Ghana participated in athletics[8], high jump[1] and boxing[7].

Kwame Nkrumah and his government identified sports as an important tool, in building a new nation and uniting the people hence he invested greatly in sports.

As a member of Ghana’s boxing team, Quartey started his conquest at the 1960 Olympic Games with a unanimous victory over Moroccan boxer Mohamed Boubekeur in the Welterweight division.

The Ghanaian pugilist progressed to the Round of 16 stage where also dominated and beat Iraq boxer, Khalid Al-Karkhi to set up a Quarter final fight against a South Korean boxer.

Kim Deuk-bong proved very tough for Clement Quartey as the Korean won 2 rounds but Quartey managed to win 3 rounds to progress to the semi-final stage in the five-round contest.

At this point, all of Clement Quartey’s mates in the national boxing team for Ghana had been eliminated from the tournament. None of them were able to make it to the Quarter finals stage. Only the late Eddie Blay and Joseph Lartey reached the Round of 16 stage.

At the semi-final stage, Quartey floored his Polish contender Marian Kasprzyk to book Africa’s first final in boxing.

With the possibility of winning a gold medal in focus, Quartey prepped himself for the final bout but his Czech Republic opponent, Bohumil Nemecek proved very tough for him. The judges scored the bout 5-0 against Quartey as he lost to Nemecek.



Despite losing the final, Quartey became the first African to win a medal in boxing after winning the silver medal.

Two years after his exploits at the Summer Games, Quartey competed at 1962 British Empire and Commonwealth Games won gold medal at the games held in Perth, Australia.

Until today no Ghanaian has either won gold or silver medal in the Olympic Games after Clement Isaac Quartey's heroics in 1960.

As a senior brother Clement Quartey at one point played a key role in Ike [Bazooka] Quartey success as World Champion.

At age 84 years, Clement Isaac Quartey is still alive and currently resides in London where he enjoys a quite life.

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Author: Joseph Adamafio

Source: www.ghanaweb.com