By Sammy Heywood Okine
The Ghanaian authorities have denied reports suggesting that the Ghana cycling team travelled to the Commonwealth Games in Australia without bicycles and a coach.
The Australian news outfit, New 7, reported that the Ghanaian cycling contingent arrived with broken bikes and without a coach.
The rumours, which went viral on social media, compelled some Australian citizens donating bicycles and tyres worth several thousands of dollars to the team.
However, the Ghanaian authorities have rubbished the report, insisting they went to the competition with three brand new bicycles.
The press officer of the team, Ken Adade said in an interview that the report was only meant to damage the reputation of the Ghana team since there was no iota of truth in it because the Chef de Mission, Mohammed Sahnoon, “brought three new bikes from UCI to the team”.
He explained that the Ghanaian cycling team went out to train and on their way they met another team which introduced themselves. In the process, one of them introduced himself as a cycling trainer and wanted to assist them.
“The cyclists went to town to train and they met another cycling team at training and obviously, because they were all training, they became fond of each other and one of them one of them offered to help clean with your training.
“It wasn’t as if we didn’t have bike and we were now going to beg for bikes. The bicycles they are using are the same one they used when they went for a competition in Rwanda. They bought it in Glasgow in 2014 and that is what they have been using since and the Chef also bought three new bikes from their international federation for them”, the press officer explained.
He described the news as baseless, but admitted that the equipment being used by Ghana were quite different from what was being used by the cyclists in Australia.
Peter Spencer, owner of GC Bike Fit, who volunteered to coach the team, said “it was the most amazing show of the underdogs I have ever seen in cycling”, leading to an overwhelming support from the public in terms of donation of parts and equipment.
One of the Ghanaian cyclists said: “honestly speaking none of us have been running on brand new tyres and some parts…and we’ve been using outmoded parts”.