The flag of Ghana has once again being lifted high by Ghana’s national weightlifting team, the Black Cranes in the just ended African Youth Junior and Senior Weightlifting Championship.

The Black Cranes, who arrived in Accra last Wednesday, after an impressive outing at the African Weightlifting Championships in Morocco from 28th October to 5th November, 2013, won a total of 19 medals.

At a breakfast meeting hosted to welcome the team at Alisa Hotel, the Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports commended the handlers and the team for a yeoman’s job.

Hon. Joseph Yammin was full of praise for the team and assured the Ghana Weightlifting Association of government’s continued support, going forward, since “this is one of the highest medal haul by Ghana in any international competition from one discipline”.

The Deputy Minister also expressed the Ministry of Youth and Sports’ satisfaction for all past handlers of the Black Cranes and particularly showed appreciation to Hon. Nii Lantey Vanderpuje (Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry and MP for Odododiodio) and Ben Nunoo Mensah (President of Ghana Weightlifting Association).

Ghana placed 6th in terms of medals won, out of fifteen (15) participating African countries. The team comprised of 6 lifters with ace sports presenter Mr. Charles Osei Asibey leading the delegation.

Ruth Baffoe of the Ghana Immigration Service began the medal swoop by winning six (6) bronze medals on the opening day of the competition, and Juliana Arkoh continued Ghana’s impressive showing by sweeping six (6) silver medals and two (2) bronze medals the next day in the 63-kilogramme category.

Dora Afi Abotsi, the captain of the women’s team, added two (2) bronze medals, while Theophilus Tackie completed the haul with three bronze medals.

As a mark of good sportsmanship, the Black Crane was judged the most disciplined side at the Championship.

Speaking to the media after the event, Hon. Joseph Yammin expressed the Ministry’s gratitude to Goil Ghana Limited and Techno Mobile for their supporting the team’s travel to Morocco and encouraged other corporate entities to join in the support to the development of sports in Ghana, most especially, lesser known sports.

He also appealed to the media to spend some air time in promoting lesser known sports as they give to football on their sports programs.