Seklorwu: Pain of past failure motivated me to win gold

TODAYBack in May 2014, the Ghana Olympic Committee led a group of 21 young promising athletes to compete in the 2nd edition of the African Youth Games in Gaborone, Botswana.

Ghana participated in six sporting disciplines including, athletics, weightlifting, badminton, swimming, table tennis and cycling.

Overall, Team Ghana won three medals in athletics and two medals in weightlifting, while two athletes came fourth in their individual events namely long jumper Felicia Frimpong and Richard Seklorwu.

Seklorwu missed the chance to win a medal in the boy’s long jump event after placing fourth with a jump of 6.97m.

Despite his best efforts, Algeria’s Yasser Mohammed Tagar won first place with 7.63m, followed in second place by Nigeria’s David Ejumeta at 7.24m, while Morocco’s Mouhcine Khoua won the bronze medal with a jump of 7.15m.

He thus missed out on a chance to represent the nation at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.

His counter parts, 800m runner Martha Bissah went ahead to win Ghana’s first Olympic gold at any level of sports while triple jumper Precious Attipoe placed 8th in his event.

Sixteen months later, Seklorwu has become the first Ghanaian athlete ever to win a gold medal in the history of the Commonwealth Youth Games after jumping 7.67m (3.2+) to clinch the boy’s long jump at the Apia Park Sports Complex the Samoa 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games.

Asked how it felt becoming the first Ghanaian ever to win gold in the Commonwealth Youth Games, he said:

“I feel proud to become the first Ghanaian to win a medal, not just a medal but a Gold medal. I thank God for my success,” he said in an interview with www.ghanaolympic.org.

Seklorwu was quick to add that the pain of missing out on the podium 16 months ago fueled his drive to win a medal this time.

“My 4th position in Botswana challenged me to work extra hard towards this competition,” he said.

“I did not want to place 4th again as I did in Botswana and that helped me win the gold medal.”

Seklorwu, a T. I. Amass Senior High School student, has high ambitions going forward following his heroics in Samoa.

“My plan is to train very hard when I return back to Ghana. I want to win an Olympic medal, if possible a gold medal and also at the senior Commonwealth Games.”

Last month, Seklorwu’s compatriot from the 2014 African Youth Games, long jumper Felicia Frimpong became the 19th Ghanaian athlete to take up a Ghana Athletics Association sourced scholarship at South Plains College in Texas, USA.

Seklorwu is hoping to become the 20th national athlete to move to the USA to develop his talent.

“I would be very grateful if I get the chance or the opportunity to go to the USA to continue my education and also get better training facilities to improve upon my technique.

“I know that the GAA President finds scholarships for athletes in the USA and I’m looking forward to get such an opportunity.”

The youngster credits his success to T. I. Amass Senior High School, his athletics Coach and Sports Chairman.

“I will like to thank my school coach, Anslem Nyavadzie from Amass Senior High School for this. He is the same coach who brought me to Amass from Kedzi, in Volta Region. I will like to thank my sport chairman, Mr. Edem Dartey for all his help.”

In achieving this milestone, Seklorwu is following in the footsteps of several former students of T. I. Amass who have achieved laurels on the international stage in recent times including but not restricted to African heptathlon silver medalist Elizabeth Dadzie, African 4x100m relay silver medalist Emmanuel Dasor and African decathlon bronze medalist Atsu Nyamadi.

Asked why athletes from T. I. Amass Senior High School have been so successful in recent times, Seklorwu said: “It is because they train very hard and listen to their coaches and also the school supports the sports boys and girls in the school.

 

Background

Led by the Ghana Olympic Committee in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth and Sports, a contingent of 21 athletes, including Richard Seklorwu, represented the nation at the 2nd African Youth Games in May, 2014.

The Ghana Olympic Committee also funded the contingent of athletes and officials to the Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa.

The decision to send those youngsters to the 2nd African Youth Games is yielding dividends as two of the athletes from that contingent have won Ghana’s first ever gold medals at the Youth Olympics and now at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Apia, Samoa.

 

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