Over 150 swimmers proved their mettle at the maiden edition of the Citi TV National Swimming Championship, battling it out for medals and bragging rights in the pool last Sunday, 16th July 2023.
The one-day meet brought together various swim teams from across the country to compete for the right to be called Ghana’s best at the Burma Camp Sports Complex.
Officials from the Ghana Swimming Association, Citi TV’s main partners for the Swimming Championship, were on hand to supervise the various events, which turned out to be even more competitive than anyone could have envisaged.
Hours of training were brought to bear in the magnificent pool at Burma Camp as the swimmers paddled vigorously from end to end in their various events.
The competitors’ techniques during the breaststroke and butterfly events even drew some applause from the crowd, while the exciting backstroke and freestyle sprints kept everyone on the edge of their seats.
The medley, which saw individuals swim four laps with a different stroke for each lap, was also a crowd favourite. But the loudest cheers were saved for the mixed relay races where the various teams faced off against each other in some of the most intense races at the meet.
At the end of the competition, the Marlins’ swim team reigned supreme, claiming 63 medals in total. They dominated the boys and girls categories with 34 gold, 19 silver and 10 bronze medals.
Legon Sharks and the Torpedo Swimming Club came second and third with 41 and 16 medals respectively.
Even the swimmers who finished outside the podium places managed to improve their times, a fact the coaches and organisers were very pleased with/
Speaking at the end of the competition, the President of the Ghana Swimming Association, Delphina Quaye expressed gratitude to Citi TV/Citi FM for collaborating with them to give the swimmers the chance to compete at the highest level.
“Swimming is a force to reckon with and I will say thank you to Citi TV for this initiative because we’ve been searching for sponsorship for years. We have not been able to get anything like this. For us at GSA, it was great news when Citi TV said they were going to organise a competition for us. We hope it continues.”
“Swimming has a great potential. From where we took off and where we are now, it’s clear swimming has a great deal of potential. We are drawing out a lot of talent.”
The head of sports at Citi TV/FM, Benjamin Nketsia spoke of the importance of highlighting swimming, which is fast becoming one of Ghana’s biggest sports.
“We know that football is the dominant sport in this country and there’s always an outcry about putting a spotlight on lesser-funded and lesser-known sports. We realised that the swimming community was one of the more organised, as far as developing the sport is concerned. So it was a pretty easy choice for us [to collaborate with them],” he said.
“We looked at how much swimming has grown in leaps and bounds over the last three years and the strides Ghana has made at the international level over the past couple of years and felt that this was a good initiative to take. As everyone has witnessed, it was a pretty good event.”
The National Swimming Championship is powered by Citi TV with support from 97.3 CITI FM and the Ghana Swimming Association and is partnered by Spring Consult.