“I am ready as an athlete but the entire country is not ready,” Ghana’s Para-athlete, Raphael Botsyo Nkegbe has told Asempa FM on the Sports Nite Show.
“We need the support of the country and the corporate world because Ghana must win medals and it comes with motivation and hard work from the athletes.
“I have been financing all my trips and training but I don’t complain but we must make history in Tokyo,” he added.
These were the words of Ghana’s Mr Nkegbe when asked about his preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games.
Mr Nkegbe, who is the Sports Writers Association of Ghana Sports Personality of the Year 2019, has secured qualification to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games after winning the T54 World Wheelchair 100m race with his new personal best of 14.22 seconds at the Desert Challenge Games in Arizona, United States of America.
He easily won the T54 World Wheelchair 100m race which has given him an automatic qualification to the Tokyo 2020 (to be held this year) Paralympics and also makes him the second Ghanaian para-athlete to qualify for the world championships, after blind cyclist Fred Assor.
He said things are not smooth and best for him as he prepares and prays that the government and companies associated with sports will come to the aid of athletes, officials and the National Paralympic Committee.
The T54 Wheelchair Race is a disability sport classification for differently-abled athletics in the track and jump events. The class includes people with spinal cord injuries who compete using a wheelchair in track events. They have paraplegia but have normal hand and arm function, normal or limited trunk function, and no leg function.
He was the captain of Team Ghana at the last Commonwealth Games and his experience makes him a favourite for a medal in Japan.
He plans to intensify his training programme in Cape Coast, and is appealing to all for support.