Ghana was never considered as medal’s hope in the men’s team event and the last time the West African nation stood on the medal podium in table tennis event of the African Games was in Abuja 2003 but the quartet of Felix Lartey, Derek Abreka, Bernard Sam and Emmanuel Commey guided by Coach Anthony Owusu-Ansah broke the jinx with a bronze medal in the men’s team event.

Without any doubt this medal regardless of the colour would surely improve the lot of table tennis in Ghana and encourage corporate companies to identify with the sport.

These were the views of the quartet, who lauded the support the team got from Stanbic Bank in Ghana as well as the moral support from the Ghana Table Tennis Association led by its president.

“I am so excited with the bronze medal because nobody gave us a chance as they are not expecting Ghana to make it to the podium. But we have proved them wrong that with unity of purpose coupled with hardwork, we have broken the jinx. I am fully sure that this is a big boost for the sport in Ghana. Although government has not been supporting the sport but the support of the association led by its president has been enormous. We will also be grateful to Stanbic Bank for their support because they supported us during the camping exercise. We have shown that with more support we can do more,” said Derek Abreka.

For Felix Lartey, the medal was made possible through the determination and diligent of the entire team including the technical crew. “I am so excited that nobody gave us the chance and we stunned the host, Congo Brazzaville in the group match to be sure of making the medal podium. We never had the same exposure that some of these top players had before the games. Our training was in Accra where we had weeks of camping after the final selection. Also our coach instills confidence in us even when we were on the losing side during a match. He made us to realize that we are capable of beating any player and team. This medal is not only for us but for the lovers of table tennis in Ghana. We hope that this will encourage the government to begin to support the sport,” Lartey said.

Emmanuel Commey and Bernard Sam believe the medal would inspire them to aim high for medals in the singles and doubles events. “This medal has really boosted our confidence in the tournament and we are not going to be afraid of any player. We are surely sure that we can still make the medal table in other events,” Bernard Sam said.