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Tokyo Olympics: Boxer Samuel Takyi secures Ghana a first medal since 1992

The West Africans, until now, had just four medals in the games' history.

Youngster boxer Samuel Takyi has won his Olympic quarterfinal to guarantee himself a medal at Tokyo 2020, a first Olympic medal for a Ghanaian athlete in 29 years.

The featherweight puncher beat Colombia’s 32-year-old southpaw David Ceiber Avila, a far more experienced fighter, in the quarterfinal, taking two of three rounds to send the Ghanaian contingent in the stands wild.

Similar celebrations were happening across Ghana on a historic day in the ring, and they may get louder as Takyi moves on to the semifinal where he’ll face the USA’s Ragan Duke. The American eliminated Irish boxer Kurt Walker in his quarterfinal bout.

Takyi, 20, has caused a sensation by making the podium after his selection for the boxing team in Tokyo initially caused eyebrows to raise.

Now it’s hands in the air as “The Golden Ring Warrior” has brought it home, the first Olympic medal since the football team won bronze at Barcelona 1992.

And the first boxing medal since middleweight Prince Amartey who took the bronze in Munch 1972.

Takyi joins Ghanaian Olympic greats Clement Quartey, a light welterweight who won silver in Rome 1960, Eddie Blay a bronze light welterweight medallist from Tokyo 1964 and Prince Amartey who made history in Munch 1972.

Turning the tables against Ceiber Avila

Takyi’s biggest challenge came in the quarterfinals against Ceiber Avila, the Colombian was eliminated at Rio 2016 before the medal rounds and was all out to make it count in what is likely his last Olympic Games.

Ceiber came out swinging, the much smaller fighter, he stayed in close and tried to negate Takyi’s height and reach advantage, smashing Takyi with body shots and surprising Ghana’s great hope with his work rate.

It was tenacious stuff from the Colombian whose punches-per-minute rate was off the charts, and the Colombian won the first round unanimously.

Takyi had to respond and stop the swarm, doing much better in the second round, upping the intensity, moving out of range of Ceiber’s wild swings and inside bodywork.

The Ghanaian took round two by 3-2 to leave himself a chance, 1-1 going into Round 3.

But it looked like it was going the veteran’s way as he tied up Takyi in the final round, spoiling and dragging and running down the clock.

But Ghana’s man has a maturity beyond his years, finished really strong, Ceiber Avila hanging on, trying to run down the clock, the young star grew, exploding into the final minute to land the punches that mattered.

He convinced three of five judges and that was all he needed.

Takyi’s star is on the rise, and now he’ll have more than 30 million people in his corner him as he fights for a shot at Ghana’s first-ever gold medal.

Next fight

Men’s featherweight semifinals:
Samuel Takyi vs Duke Ragan
Date: Tuesday 3 August
Time: 2:30am GMT

 

 

Culled from olympics.com