Swimming: Second chance for Jackson as Ghana fails to book Olympic ticket

Author: Albert Tetteh Wayoe Jnr and Kwame Larweh
Ghana’s Zara Forson is being decorated with a medal by an official after one of her feats
Ghana’s Zara Forson is being decorated with a medal by an official after one of her feats

Ghana’s swimmers have another chance to improve on their time limit to meet the required time in the upcoming National Swimming Championship in Durban, South Africa for a chance to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo after no Ghanaian earned an Olympic qualifying slot at the just ended 7th African Zone Swimming Championship held at the Bukom International Pool within the Trust Sports Emporium in Accra last Saturday.

The Durban competition comess off from April 16-23 and serves as a qualifying competition for the Olympics.

Another Ghanaian, Nicholas Yeboah, also has an opportunity at next month’s event in Durban for a ticket to the Tokyo games.

Although some Ghanaian swimmers improved on their performance to win 28 medals and break some existing records in the championship, it was not enough to see any athlete meeting the Olympic qualifying time and Olympic standard time set for the Tokyo games.

It was the team captain, Abeiku Jackson, who came closest to meeting the required time for qualification but his mark of 0.22.92 seconds in the Men’s 50 metres Freestyle  was not enough to meet the qualifying time of 0.22.01 seconds and the standard time of 0.22.67 seconds.

In an interview, Jackson told the Graphic Sports that he was going back to the drawing board to engage in intensive training to improve on his time so he could qualify for the Olympics.

"My aim is to do something for Ghana so I am still training hard to qualify for the Olympics to win medals. Though I was not able to meet the required time,  I am going to the drawing board to start every thing again and I hope I will improve on my time."

"Setting a new record does not interest me now. The only achievement My team and I can do is to improve on our time for the qualification and I am hopeful I will get better through training  to achieve that,” the talented swimmer said in an interview.

Ghana won a total of 26 medals of which four of them were gold, eight silver medals and 16 bronze medals  to finish in  the third position as Senegal dominated the three-day event with a total of 49 medals followed in the second position by Nigeria with 31 medals.

The championship, which served as a qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, involves 19 countries: Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Cameroun, Mali, Benin, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Niger, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Togo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Fina Development Centre (Dakar), Guinea Conakry, Democratic Republic of Congo and Cape Verde.