The 2018 Summer Youth Olympics will officially end on Thursday, October 18 but Team Ghana’s campaign has ended without a medal.
The last medal hopeful, sprinter Solomon Diafo failed to live up to expectations in the final of the men’s 400m on Sunday. Despite finishing sixth in the second stage of the competition, Diafo placed eighth with a time of 1:37.55.
Per the competition rules, athletes run in two stages of four heats each, following which they are ranked according to the best of time finish after a collation of results from all heats.
The 17-year-old Diafo, who couldn’t hold back the tears, expressed disappointment in himself but could only hope that he will get the needed support ahead of subsequent competitions.
In all, Ghana participated in four events namely beach volleyball, swimming, weightlifting and athletics. There were a lot of positives that the athletes especially will be drawing from the Youth Olympics.
Swimmer Abeiku Jackson, for instance, improved on his time in the 100m butterfly event, reducing it by 0.28 seconds. Sandra Mensimah Owusu who participated in the women’s weightlifting competition lifted 75kg for the first time.
For officials who were with Team Ghana, they will take with them some notes on the general organization of the games as Ghana hopes to be given the rights to host the African version in 2023.
After day seven of the games, the only African countries visible on the medal table are Egypt who have two gold, one silver and five bronze medals. They are followed by South Africa with two gold and one silver. Tunisia have one gold, one silver and one bronze.
Overall, Russia still lead the pack with a total of 43 medals made up of 24 gold, 11 silver and eight bronze.