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Sports News of Wednesday, 25 December 2019


Top 5 Sporting Disciplines of 2019

Team Ghana at the World Athletics Championship Team Ghana at the World Athletics Championship

2019 will go down in the history books as one of the worst years for Ghana sports as the country didn't enjoy much success from our leading sporting disciplines despite the commitment of the government to assist them with almost every logistical and financial support needed to win laurels for the nation.

Ghana for the first time since 2006 couldn’t progress to the semi-finals of the African Cup of Nations after they were kicked out of the tournament in the round of 16 by the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia who had not won against Ghana in the history of the AFCON before on penalties.

In the multi-sports event, Team Ghana was 15th on the medal table in the 2019 Africa games tournament with only thirteen medals after participating in 14 different sporting disciplines.

14 different sporting disciplines were in action in the year 2019 and despite their overall failure or bad performances on the continental stage, some performed better than others.

Ghanaweb today brings you it’s top five sporting disciplines in the year 2019.

1. Athletics

Athletics was arguably the best sporting discipline for Ghana in the Africa games in Rabat, Morocco despite going through numerous challenges prior to the start of the tournament.

The major problem was the internal conflict about the leadership positions within the Ghana Athletics Association. This made Ghanaians worried about the kind of performance the athletics sent to the African Games will deliver at the tournament when their leadership was distracted with numerous legal battles. Nevertheless, they were able to deliver the only gold medals the country won in the competition through Sean Safo-Antwi, Benjamin Azamati-Kwaku, Martin Owusu-Antwi and Joseph Amoah who won the gold medal in the men’s 4*100 meters relay event while Rose Amoanimaa Yeboah won the gold medal in the women’s high jump event.

Athletics added two bronze medals and one silver medal to make it 5 medals for team Ghana. Due to the off-the-field problems they had prior to the start of the tournament, we say Ghana athletics performed well in the 2019 Africa Games and they can do better when the country host the entire continent in 2023 and also in the 2021 edition.

2. Weightlifting

Winning eight medals, made up of seven bronze medals and one silver medal on the continental stage for Ghana in our estimation makes Weightlifting one of the top five sporting disciplines for the year 2019. Weightlifting is one of the minority sports in Ghana. In relative terms, it is not given the needed attention from the media or the government. That notwithstanding Winifred Ntumi defied all the odds to win three bronze medals in the women’s 45 kg events, David Akwei and Christian Amoah topped it up with two bronze medals in the men’s 61 kg and the 89 kg events respectively while Forrester Osei completed their day with a silver medal in the men's 89 kg Clean & Jerk event making it eight medals for Ghana at the African Games in 2019.

3. Rugby

The rugby team under current president Mr Herbert Mensah has seen tremendous progress from where the sport was in the previous years. They won the 2019 Elmina-Ghana cup when they beat the Botswana Vultures by 36 points to 25 in the crucial Rugby Africa Cup Elimination Match. This has been a good year for the rugby sports hence their inclusion in our top 5 sporting disciplines for the year 2019.

Also the Ghana Rugby Women’s Sevens national team, the Ghana Eagles, were triumphant in Monastir-Tunisia when they won the 2019 Rugby Africa Women’s Challenge Trophy by beating Zambia by 21 to 14 points which makes 2019 a good year for the Ghana rugby team.

4. Beach Soccer

One of the sporting disciplines that is gradually making waves in Ghana is beach soccer. This year they demonstrated that the sport has a future by winning the 2019 Copa Lagos clubs championship without any financial assistant from the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Ghana Football Association. They have won the said competition for the third consecutive time which include a record scoring of 23 goals on their way to defeating all their opponents in Lagos and it’s became the first trophy for the new GFA administration chaired by Kurt E.S. Okraku.

The 2019 CAL Bank Beach Soccer league which ended a few weeks ago got a lot of media mileage (both new and traditional media). Arguably this has been one of the very best if not the best year for Beach Soccer in Ghana’s history.

5. Armwrestling

The National Armwrestling Team, The Golden Arms also makes our pick of the top five sporting disciplines of the year after defending their title at the 10th Africa Armwrestling Championships held in Bamako, Mali. They won 18 medals in the Championship with 11gold, 5sliver and 2 bronze medals though that was no close to the 88 medals in the year 2018. The armwrestling team per their own high standards didn’t live up to expectations but they performed better than all the remaining sports in terms of medals won.

Football for the first time couldn’t make the top five sporting disciplines of the year because all the national teams namely Black Stars, Black Stars B, Black Queens, Black Meteors, U-20 and Ashgold, Kotoko who participated in continental competitions all failed to impress in the year 2019.