Akwasi Frimpong becomes Africa's only representative at BMW IBSF Altenberg World Championships 2021

Ghana’s skeleton athlete, Akwasi Frimpong has made history by becoming the only athlete to represent Africa at the BMW IBSF Altenberg World Championships 2021

Akwasi Frimpong becomes the only athlete to represent Africa at the BMW IBSF Altenberg World Championships 2021

Frimpong overcame injury to finish 32nd overall at the BMW IBSF world championships in Altenberg, Germany.

Frimpong worked with Team Russia leading in to the tournament on one of the toughest tracks in the world that showed its strength against world-class athletes. Frimpong did not plan to compete at the World Championships because it was not on his schedule and he only had 20 runs from the top of this track.

He also suffered a major crash on the Altenberg track a month ago, which caused a badly sprained ankle and limited his ability to walk.

Akwasi said it was Russian Skeleton coach, Dirk Matschenz, who challenged him to race at the World Championships for the experience.


Frimpong made progress with each run during the World Championships. In his first run he was 32nd with a start time of 5.43 seconds and a down time of 60.75 seconds. In his second run he finished 31st with a start time of 5.43 seconds and down time 60.42 seconds. He improved again with his third run with a 5.41 second start time and his best down time during the championships at 60.11 seconds.

“Of course I didn’t want to come in last,” Frimpong said. “But with my current fitness condition, battling with injuries all season and with so little experience on the toughest track in the world I gained an important experience going into the Pre-Olympic season where I want to fight for a spot for Ghana and Africa for Beijing 2022.

"It’s not going to be easy since there is no continental spot for Africa and five fewer spots for the men than there was in 2018.

"There is a lot of room for improvement and still so much to learn. I’m truly grateful for the help and support of Team Russia. They treat me like family and give me all the help I need to improve daily.


"The results never really tell the athlete’s entire story, but believe me I’m putting in work and fighting for Africa on ice, giving people from my continent hope and breaking barriers.”

Frimpong will stay in Europe for another week to learn and race at the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation Inter-Continental Cup skeleton races in Innsbruck, Austria then head home to his family in Salt Lake City, Utah. Frimpong and his wife Erica Frimpong are expecting their second child in April 2021.


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