Ghana’s Amateur boxing team the Black Bombers will spend four weeks in Japan’s Eastern Pacific Coastal city of Fukushima before starting their campaign in the Olympics Games.

This will follow two other stages of training camps in Ghana. With 99 days to go for the much-awaited Olympics, the Ghana Olympic Committee is pulling its resources together and collaborating with the respective sporting associations to ensure a hitch-free participation.

 Camping situation

The team is currently on a non-residential camping regimen at the Accra Stadium specifically in the D.G. Hathiramani Hall. It consists of daily drill of various aspects of gym work with certain days reserved for roadwork and conditioning. Some concerns have been raised by key stakeholders in the sport about the delay in residential camping which could affect the form of the boxers considering that their opponents from other countries are miles ahead.

According to the Ghana Amateur Boxing Federation’s (GABF) President George Lamptey, there are three stages of the training, which are expected to prepare the team adequately for the games. The first, which is daily non-residential camping, is being carried out under the strict supervision of the team’s head coach Ofori Asare, at the Hathiramani Hall of the Accra Stadium.  

The second will be intensive residential camping which will help with proper monitoring and evaluation of the training. The other major consideration will be that of the safety of the boxers and their controlled movement to stop any possible covid-19 infections. Two venues are being considered. The coastal town of Sogakope has been tabled by the Ghana Olympic Committee, which the GABF are also working on possible landing a camping site along the Volta river near the Akosombo township, in the Eastern Region of Ghana.  

The third and final stage will be a one month camp in Dr Hideyo Nogouchi’s hometown of Fukushima ahead of the games. Dr Nougouchi is a Japanese bacteriologist whose life and work in Ghana led to the discovery of the Yellow Fellow vaccine. The main medical research centre at the University of Ghana was named after him to honour his memory and impactful work.

Expectations for more slots

As the situation stands, team captain, Suleman Tetteh a flyweight and 2012 Olympian, featherweight Samuel Takyi,  and Shakul Samir a heavyweight have booked places in the event. Samir who was the last of them to qualify did so, on a global ranking system which was informed by his bronze medal-winning performance at a qualifier in Senegal last year. Should he step into a ring to fight, Shakul will seal the status of the family as having three Olympians. His two elder brothers Bastie and Issah Samir are both 2008 Olympians from the Beijing Games.  

There are two more boxers hoping to make it to the games when the final rankings are released. Female boxer, Dr Ornella Sathoud, a specialist in analytical chemistry hoping to be Ghana’s first to make it to the Olympics and Jessie Lartey a 2018 Commonwealth Games bronze medalist.

Specific dates for each camp will be confirmed in the coming weeks.