Kaya Forson hopes to inspire women to try new sports

Kaya Forson in Rio14-year old Kaya Forson is hoping to inspire women to try new sports after becoming Ghana’s first swimmer to compete at the Olympics after taking part in the women’s 200m freestyle event at the ongoing Rio 2016 Olympics on Monday.

Kaya, who also became the first Ghanaian female swimmer at the Olympics, produced a life time best 2:16.02 to place third in heat 1 of the women’s 200m freestyle behind Fiji’s Matelita Buadromo, who won the heat in 2:05.49 while India’s Shivani Kataria took third place in 2:09.30 at the Olympic Aquatics stadium.

Despite not making the cut to the semi finals of her event, Kaya hopes her story will provide the necessary inspiration to other females to explore their world.

“(It’s been) Amazing. I hope to inspire more women to try new sports, try new things and go on adventures,” she told www.ghanaolympic.org

The youngster reflected upon her performance in the 200m freestyle event saying, she had to dig into her reserves to finish the race.

“It was fun and tiring as any sports. Whenever I do an event, it is an amazing feeling.

“I saw the girls beside me and I wanted to keep up to them. But on the third ops, they were a bit further away. My thing was, I didn’t want to give up. I didn’t want to stop or get discouraged. I just wanted to go through and do the very best I could.”

The Canadian born swimmer was handed a universality place at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games by World Swimming governing body, FINA, after competing at the FINA World Championships in Karzan, Russian in 2015 where she named as the youngest athlete at the championships

She took part in the women's 200m freestyle heats in Russia, a key requirement for qualification to the Olympics.

She admitted that it was difficult to control her nerves during her first Olympic event in Rio on Monday.

 “I was nervous (yesterday) but this morning I woke up ready to go and excited. I visualized my race and it went exactly as I visualized it. I’m going to take the experience with me. I’m going to take the fact that I have to work harder and train harder and hopefully I will return.

Moments after finishing her event, she became the toast of the media at the Olympic Aquatics stadium in Rio, with many desirous of finding out her motives for competing in swimming.

“It’s cool. It’s fun. It’s definitely cool and interesting. They (the media) were asking me about my life. How I moved from country to country. The languages, passport, Ghana and how I got here.

Having tasted Olympic stardom, Kaya wants to return to the Games at Tokyo 2020 where she hopes to compete alongside her younger sister at the swimming competition.