Swimming: National coach sure of Olympic qualification

Author: Albert Tetteh Wayoe Jnr
Abeiku Jackson (left) with Kaya Forson will spearhead Ghana's campaign to qualify for the Olympic Games
Abeiku Jackson (left) with Kaya Forson will spearhead Ghana's campaign to qualify for the Olympic Games

National Swimming coach, Kodwo Abbiw Jackson, says he is optimistic that at least three of his athletes will qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games later this year.

According to the coach, the team is currently engaged in an intensive training and is hopeful the athletes can improve on their time limit and performance to qualify for the Games.

Next month, Ghana will host the 7th CANA Zone 2 Senior Swimming and Open Water Championship at the Trust Sports Emporium at Bukom in Accra and at the Aqua Safari Resort at Ada, respectively both competitions being Olympic qualifiers for the Summer Olympics Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Hosts Ghana will be competing with other 19 countries from West and Central African namely; Nigeria, Niger, Mali, Togo, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Liberia, Senegal, The Gambia, Central African Republic, Gabon, DR Congo, Congo, Sierra Leone, Benin, Cape Verde, Cote d’ Ivoire, Chad and Cameroun.

Mr Jackson told the Graphic Sports ahead of the March 5 - 8 championship that with the experience some of his athletes had acquired in international competitions, he was hopeful Ghana’s leading swimmers such as Abeiku Jackson, Jason Arthur and Kaya Forson were potential Olympic Games athletes and, therefore, looked forward to seeing more athletes excel at the competition to book their place at the Tokyo Games.

Abeiku Jackson (son of the coach) and Kaya represented Ghana at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“We have been training towards the competition for a while and I can tell you that one female and two males are Olympics games hopeful. Kaya Forson, Abeiku Jackson and Jason are the potential for the qualification with their experience they have acquired in their previous international competitions,” said the coach.

The national coach further said the upcoming championship would give him an opportunity to compare the level of the youthful swimmers who have graduated to the senior team to help them meet the qualification time and hopefully win medals.

The coach is currently preparing 16 athletes at the Burma Camp and Trust Sports Emporium pools, with Abeiku, Arthur and Kaya as Ghana’s leading swimmers for the championship. Team leader Abeiku’s best time was 24.62 seconds in the men’s 50m butterfly final at the African Games in the Moroccan capital, Rabat, last year.