Ghana fields first ever track cyclist at Commonwealth Games this summer

Jedidiah Amoako-Ackah has just nine months' cycling experience

by John Stevenson   June 23, 2014  

Jedidiah Amoako-Ackah 3 (courtesy www.iamjeddie.com)

In the latest of a long line of sporting firsts for the African nation, Ghana will field a track cyclist at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this summer. Remarkably, Jedidiah Amoako-Ackah only took up cycling nine months ago.

The 23-year-old previously specialized in boxing and judo, but last September he met Ghana-born Glasgow businessman Sean Dyantyi who was leading a project to have a Ghanaian track cyclist race at the Games.

Amoako-Ackah arrived in the UK in 2001 with his parents whose careers had taken them to Botswana, then England and eventually to Glasgow. He knew nothing about track cycling when he met Dyantyi, who owns garbage removal company Junk Me.

"I didn't have any experience of track cycling so at the time it seemed an almost insane suggestion," Amoako-Ackah told Susan Swarbrick of The Herald.

Nevertheless, he decided to take a year off from university, where he’s studying sports therapy, to learn how to ride and race on a velodrome.

The Ghana Cycling Federation was supportive in theory, but with no experience in track cycling were unable to offer Amoako-Ackah much help.

"While they were glad I was doing it, they had to take a backseat role and weren't able to offer any financial assistance," he said. "Everything has been supported by local Glaswegian businesses."

His sponsors include Junk Me, Juice Warrior, Wheatley Group and Rig Bike Shop and after Amoako-Ackah coached himself for six months 2010 Commonwealth Games silver medallist David Daniell helped him draw up a training plan.

At about that time, Amoako-Ackah realised he was better suited to the sprint disciplines of track racing than the endurance events and switched his focus.

But Glasgow’s Sir Chis Hoy Velodrome is closed in preparation for the Games, so Amoako-Ackah has had to resort to training on the road and doing strength and conditioning sessions in the gym.

"I've been doing my sprint efforts on the road," he said. "You have to work hard and hope for the best."

And equipment is still a problem. "I appreciate all the support I've been given but there is still so much to do," he said. "I'd be grateful for anyone who can help out, especially with a decent set of wheels for my bike."

Anyone who can help Amoako-Ackah out can contact through his Facebook page or website.

15 user comments

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I would not want to ride against a headless cyclist.... scary stuff Sick
Or did they just have to crop his head so that you can get those thighs in?

posted by SideBurn [787 posts]
23rd June 2014 - 13:27

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That bike looks mint in the Ghanian colours.

posted by farrell [1400 posts]
23rd June 2014 - 13:31

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I like his bike too, and the kit. Maybe the colours of the Ghanian flag looks good on everything.

pants's picture

posted by pants [76 posts]
23rd June 2014 - 14:11

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I'll watch out for him, I like rooting for the underdog (and hope he doesn't mind me referring to him as such).

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3096 posts]
23rd June 2014 - 14:29

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Are Kenya sending any of their riders over for the Games?

Wink

posted by farrell [1400 posts]
23rd June 2014 - 14:36

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I know many consider him to be a good-looking chap, but has Sir Chris really changed his name to Sir Chris Hot?

posted by marcusjb [5 posts]
23rd June 2014 - 14:51

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You're correct, that's an error, due to his link up with Nissan Sir Chris has been rebranded to Sir Chris Hot Hatchback.

posted by farrell [1400 posts]
23rd June 2014 - 15:31

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If you were going to build a track sprinter from scratch, you know like 'Build a Bear'; I think that what you would end up with is young Master Jedidiah.

How good could this lad become with good coaching, good facilities and a couple of years experience? I think we are about to witness a new dawn in track cycling and a possible shift in power to West Africa.

I'll watch his progress with interest.

posted by levermonkey [361 posts]
23rd June 2014 - 17:41

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If you are on twitter, look him up @IAMJEDDIE

Really friendly guy.

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8825 posts]
23rd June 2014 - 18:20

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Good to see you have re-done the picture; so he is not headless Applause
But the "Sir -Chis- Hoy Velodrome" Rolling On The Floor It must be the hot weather we are having

posted by SideBurn [787 posts]
24th June 2014 - 4:01

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levermonkey wrote:
If you were going to build a track sprinter from scratch, you know like 'Build a Bear'; I think that what you would end up with is young Master Jedidiah.

The force is strong with this one.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3096 posts]
24th June 2014 - 10:37

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Good job it's not at Lee Valley - he wouldn't have time to get accreditation.

posted by SteppenHerring [179 posts]
24th June 2014 - 14:34

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sadly, you won't see anyone jumping in to offer him Mavic's. They are just too expensive to replace.

expert in marginal gains

posted by djbambina [1 posts]
25th June 2014 - 19:37

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Surely there's a random business guy who could back him? Or lotto money?

posted by J90 [95 posts]
25th June 2014 - 23:55

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Impressive physique. Check this guy out lazy people behind your wheel, this is the body you can get if you lift and cycle. Devil

posted by Ramuz [24 posts]
29th June 2014 - 13:08

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