On this day, 14 August 1963 (Exactly 56 years ago today), Baba Yara returned to Ghana in a wheelchair from England where he was treated at the Stoke Mandeville Hospital for spinal injuries.
On March 24, 1963 Republicans played Volta Heroes at Kpandu, winning 5-0. On their way back to Accra, their vehicle was involved in an accident at Kpeve in Volta Region. Baba Yara“ King of Wingers” was paralysed following injuries he sustained in the accident.
Eyewitness accounts said the 23-seater bus skidded off the road in a curve on a slippery road and hit an embankment. Yara, seated near the main door, was thrown out of the bus and he might have been trampled by his colleagues in the stampede to get out of the bus.
Twelve other players, Agyemang Gyau, Kofi Pare, E. C. Oblitey, Dodoo Ankrah, Shitta, Edward Boateng, Carl Lokko, Wiliam Gibirine, Otto Odametey, S. Y. Tetteh, Salifu Musa and Dodoo Quartey sustained slight injuries.
They were sent to Ho Hospital from where they were flown to the 37 Military Hospital in Accra. Most of them were discharged within a few days.
Yara, accompanied by Dr. R. O. Addae, surgical specialist from the 37 Military Hospital, was flown to England where he was treated at the famous Stoke Mandeville Hospital for injuries.
A week later, La Ronde Night Club, a popular joint in Accra, presented Yara’s wife, Patience, with an air ticket to visit her husband in the UK.
Interestingly, the return ticket had been won by Yara two weeks before the accident when he was chosen as the best dressed gentleman in a competition organised by the night club.
Initial reports from Stoke Mandeville Hospital said there was the possibility of the colourful football star ‘gaining a reasonable recovery within a period of four to six months’.
That never happened and on 14 August, 1963, Yara returned home in a wheelchair. After a quiet life, he died on 5 May 1969.
On this day 14 August 2016 (Exactly 3 years ago today) Jamaica’s Usain Bolt became the first athlete to win three Olympic 100m titles by beating American Justin Gatlin to gold at Rio 2016.
Bolt, then 29, ran 9.81 seconds in his final Olympics to replicate his success at Beijing 2008 and London 2012.
Twice banned for doping offences, Gatlin was 0.08 seconds behind Bolt, with Canada’s Andre de Grasse in third.
“Somebody said I can become immortal,” said Bolt. “Two more medals to go and I can sign off. Immortal.”
De Grasse took bronze in a personal best of 9.91, ahead of Bolt’s Jamaican team-mate Yohan Blake.
On this day 14 August 2016 (Exactly 3 years ago today) South African athlete Wayde van Niekerk set world record
43.03 to win the men’s 400m gold medal at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
Exploding out of the blocks in lane eight, Wayde van Niekerk didn’t see another runner during the entire Olympic 400-meter final.
He didn’t need to. It was just him against the clock.
The South African sprinter broke Michael Johnson’s 17-year-old world record in Rio de Janeiro, leaving two of the greatest one-lap runners of this era in his dust.
Van Niekerk finished in 43.03 seconds — 0.15 seconds faster than Johnson ran on Aug. 26, 1999 in Seville, Spain. To think, Johnson’s mark was considered one of the almost untouchable records in track, too
“I was running blind all the way,” Van Niekerk explained. “I thought someone was going to catch me — what’s going on, what’s going on, and it gave me motivation to keep on pushing”.
The then 24-year-old Van Niekerk leaned at the finish line, which he really didn’t need to do as Kirani James of Grenada and LaShawn Merritt of the Unites States weren’t even in the picture. James, the defending Olympic champion, finished with the silver and Merritt, who won gold eight years earlier in Beijing, hung on for bronze as he staggered across the line.
On this day 14 August 2016 (Exactly 3 years ago today) Britain’s Andy Murray became the first male tennis player to win two Olympic singles titles by beating Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro in Rio.
An emotional Murray, then 29, secured a thrilling 7-5 4-6 6-2 7-5 victory to make it GB’s most successful day at an overseas Games with five gold medals.
The see-saw match featured 14 breaks of serve in front of a raucous crowd.
Murray’s win came five weeks after he claimed his second Wimbledon title and four years after London 2012 success.
Both men looked exhausted in the fourth set of a gruelling four-hour contest, with Murray breaking down in tears after finishing off his gritty opponent.
On this day 14 August 1986 (Exactly 33 years ago today) 1st IAAF World Championships in Athletics closed at Helsinki, Finland.
East Germany took the most gold medals (10) over the first championships and finished with a total of 22 medals.
The United States had the next largest number of golds, with eight, and also had the greatest overall medal haul, having won 24 medals altogether. The Soviet Union won one more medal than the East Germans and had six golds, although almost half of their podium finishers were bronze medalists. Twenty-five nations reached the medal tally at the inaugural competition, with all six continents being represented.
On this day 14 August 1903 (Exactly 116 years ago today) James J Jeffries KO James J Corbett in round 10 for heavyweight boxing title at the Mechanic’s Pavilion, San Francisco, California, United States. Retained World Heavyweight title.
On this day 14 August 1920 (Exactly 99 years ago today) The 7th Olympic Games was officially opened in Antwerp with 29 participating nations, 2,626 athletes (2,561men & 65 women) 156 events in 22 sports.
On this day 14 August 1932(Exactly 87 years ago today ) 10th Olympic Games at Los Angeles was closed. Athletes from 27 NOCs won medals, of which 19 won at least one gold medal. As a result, 10 NOCs failed to win any medals.
On this day 14 August 1948(Exactly 71 years ago today ) 14th Olympic games closed at London, Great Britain with the United States topping the medal table with 84 medals including 38 gold.
On this day 14 August 2016 (Exactly 3 years ago today) Kenya’s Jemima Sumgong won women’s marathon gold medal at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2:24:04; Eunice Kirwa (Bahrain) took silver, and Mare Dibaba (Ethiopia) bronze.
On this day 14 August 2016 (Exactly 3 years ago today) An all-British final in the men’s cycling sprint with Jason Kenny beating team mate Callum Skinner at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics
On this day 14 August 2016 (Exactly 3 years ago today) Justin Rose of Great Britain finished with a score of 16 under par to win the inaugural men’s individual golf gold medal at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics; Rose was 2 strokes ahead of Henrik Stenson (Sweden) and 3 from American Matt Kuchar.
On this day day 14 August 2004 (Exactly 15 years ago today) The Australian women’s 4 x 100m freestyle relay team of Alice Mills, Lisbeth Lenton, Petria Thomas & Jodie Henry smash the world record to take gold in 3:35.94 at the Athens Olympics.
On this day 14 August 2008 (Exactly 11 years ago today) Japanese swimmer Kosuke Kitajima repeated his Athens Olympics 100/200m breaststroke double at the Beijing Games winning the 200m in Olympic record 2:07.64
On this day 14 August 2008 (Exactly 11 years ago today) Australian women’s 4 x 200m freestyle relay team of Stephanie Rice, Bronte Barratt, Kylie Palmer & Linda Mackenzie swum world record 7:44.31 to beat China and take the gold medal at the Beijing Olympics.
On this day 14 August 2008 (Exactly 11 years ago today) A popular Chinese 1-2 in the 200m butterfly at the Beijing Olympics with Liu Zige swimming world record 2:04.18 to beat team mate Jiao Liuyang.
On this day 14 August 2008 (Exactly 11 years ago today) French swimmer Alain Bernard won the coveted 100m freestyle gold medal at the Beijing Olympics beating Eamon O’Sullivan of Australia by 0.11
On this day 14 August 2010 (Exactly 9 years ago today) 1st Summer Youth Olympic Games was officially opened in Singapore.
STORIES: GEORGE MAHAMAH