Ghana’s First Triathlon Event held

Winners podiumThe Ghana Triathlon Federation has successfully held the country’s first triathlon event at the University of Ghana, Legon in Accra on Sunday 15 March, 2015.
The inaugural Sprint distance triathlon consisted of a 600m swim, 18.9km bike and finish with a 5.6km run across the University campus.

The race course took participants from the Legon Swimming Pool through to the main streets of the university, finishing back towards the stadium. Dubbed the “GTF Sprint Series,” the exciting competition which involved swimming, biking and running was won by Andy Brennan who crossed the finish line in 1:15.26, followed in second place by Peter Kervennal in 1:18.26 while triathlon debutant Abdul-Rauf Zakaria placed third in a time of 1:18.26.

The participants included Ghana’s Olympic para cyclist Alem Mumuni who impressed many with his determination to swim, bike and even run on clutches.
The competition winner Andy Brennan spoke about his delight at winning Ghana’s first triathlon.

Alem Mumuni

“I have been doing triathlons for about five to six years now and I have raced well and been competitive. But to win Ghana first ever triathlon infact West Africa’s first triathlon, is definitely the highlight of my career.

“I think Triathlon can only grow and grow in Ghana. Trust me when I say it is an addictive sports. I did my first and I thought it was going to be the last but I have not stopped ever since. So whenever the next race is, I will be the first to sign up.

Abdul-Rauf Zakaria, who made history as the first Ghanaian to win a medal in the maiden competition, was ecstatic about his performance despite all the challenges he had to go through to compete.

“I feel so great and honoured to be part of this competition. I must say I did not even have a bike but somebody had faith in me and gave me a bike. I had some problems with the swimming and biking but I was ok with the running because I’m an athlete.”

Rhona Polonsky

The resilience of 60 year old America Rhona Polonsky to finish the race was also one of the key highlight of the over 3-hour competition.

Asked how she felt in the competition, she said, “Yes, am fine. I just took it slow. I paced myself and took it easy. We have been on this bike ride before so I knew the route very well. I dislocated my colour bone after a bike accident in December. I kept swimming very well. I had to use the breast stroke. I feel like I trained well enough for this. It was a little difficult biking on the hill. It was fine.

The Director of the Sports Directorate of the University of Ghana-Legon, Dr. Bella Bello Bitugu felt the event was very significant as it introduced a new sport to Ghanaians and the University populace.

The President of Ghana Triathlon Federation Bawah Fuseini said he was glad the GTF had staged the competition. He also thanked participants, officials, the University of Ghana, the Ghana Athletics Association, sponsors and everybody else who contributed to the success of the event.
The spectator friendly event started at 7am and ended at 9:00am