BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - AUGUST 07: Bronze medalist Deborah Acquah of Team Ghana celebrates during the medal ceremony for Women's Long Jump Final during Athletics Track & Field on day ten of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at Alexander Stadium on August 07, 2022 on the Birmingham, England. (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)

Ghana women's long jump record holder, Deborah Acquah, says she's still in shock after the president of the Ghana Olympic Committee, Ben Nunoo Mensah denied promising her support to treat her Achilles injury.

In an exclusive interview with JoySports, Ms Acquah who won bronze for the country at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, despite competing with an injury, said Mr Nunoo Mensah promised her support after her success, but denied it last year.

"I got injured in Eugene [during the World Athletics Championships]. It was in Eugene that my Achilles started, and I have been battling it after the Commonwealth Games [in Birmingham]. I think it was a month after, so I couldn't see my trainer because, when you're done with school, you can only train with the facilities, but you can't see your trainer," Acquah explained.

"I resorted to massaging myself. I won't lie to you. The only thing I could do was buy a massage gun and use it."

The lead-up to the Commonwealth Games was fraught with uncertainty for Acquah, as visa delays forced her to stop training for a week.

"I thought I wouldn't go, so I stopped training. But God being so good, I got the visa, and they got me a ticket to go. I had a long layover, but finally, I got there... and I was still injured."

On her journey to Birmingham, Acquah tried to alleviate her pain by massaging her Achilles.

Despite her efforts, the injury persisted.

"When I got there, Madam Salamatu Musah and Abigail Kwarteng would be my witnesses. I was still struggling."

Determined to compete, Acquah pushed through the pain during the qualification rounds.

"The first jump, I think I was the first person to qualify. After, I went to get a massage and got to rest. On the final day, you know how the adrenaline is during main competitions.

"It was at this point I said I had to give all I got in the competition, so I had to forget about the pain and go for it."

Her determination paid off when she delivered a remarkable 6.94m jump.

"After that jump, I remember Madam Salamatu Musah telling me to stop because she thought the 6.94m could do some magic. But I was like, 'I came all the way here to do this, and this being my last competition of the year,' I would continue and maybe get treatment after because I had August, September, October, and November to probably get help before the next season."

She persevered through all six jumps, knowing that any competitor matching her distance would need to be surpassed in subsequent attempts.

"I did the whole six jumps because one thing about the jump is, if anybody gets to jump the 6.94m, then they will use the next jump to determine who wins it. This was for me, but I was doing it for the country as well, so I had to kill myself for this."

After the competition, Acquah met Mr Ben Nunoo Mensah, President of the Ghana Olympic Committee, for the first time.

"We talked about what I am going through and I remember he said after the Games, we can go to Ghana because I was supposed to go from Birmingham back to the US so they had to change my ticket to go to Ghana so that I can get treatment, and if not, they would probably find something for me to come back to the US and get the treatment myself."

Despite the promise, she did not receive the anticipated support. "We went to Ghana, I didn't hear from him. We were supposed to see the president; we didn't get to see him as well. I didn't hear from them again until the next year.

"So I was so shocked when he said he didn't promise me anything because I won't lie on a good man like that, and in any case, that was why my ticket was changed to Accra so that was what happened."

During the World Championships in Budapest last year, Acquah granted an interview to JoySports, stating that, "After the last Worlds, I didn't want to go to Birmingham, but then, the Ghana officials, and I don't want to mention names because they know themselves, promised to take care of me if I went to Birmingham to compete, so I went.

"Initially, they said they would get a doctor to take care of me in Ghana once we returned. But when we got back, I didn't hear anything from them.

"They then said I should go back to the US and they would find money for me to see a specialist here. That money didn't come either."

It later emerged that the official she referred to is Ben Nunoo Mensah, president of the Ghana Olympic Committee, but he reportedly denied.

"I was asked who promised me support and I said GOC president Mr Ben Nunoo Mensah, but later I was told he denied it."

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