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Fencer Yasmine Serwah Fosu is Ghana’s rising ‘Black Star’

PUBLISHED: 14:01 01 July 2015 | UPDATED: 14:01 01 July 2015

Fencer Yasmine Serwah Fosu

Fencer Yasmine Serwah Fosu

Archant

Yasmine Serwah Fosu has set her sights on becoming the first Ghanaian fencer to ever qualify for the Olympic Games in Rio.

Fosu, 15, moved to England from America when she was nine. The family have a home in Meredith Avenue in Willesden and, having recently participated in the senior African Championships in Cairo, Egypt, she has received the backing of Dr Mustapha Ahmed, Minister for Sport and Youth in Ghana.

He said: “I’ve been following with interest Yasmine’s progress in fencing, which is a new sport for our nation.

“We have so many young talented youths in Ghana and [overseas] in the diaspora.

“Yasmine’s success opens the way for many others. Her dedication and results are impressive for one so young. We hope to support her going forward to Olympic representation of Ghana in fencing.

“It will make records for us as a nation and for Africa, and we are most excited about that.”

Fosu was the youngest fencer at the African Championships, where she made it past the first round to the elimination round.

She was then beaten by an experienced South African fencer who lives and trains in the United States.

A training plan is currently being devised for Fosu as she sets about preparing for the Olympic zone qualifiers in April 2016, where she is set to break records and be the first non-north African fencer to ever qualify for the Games in the sport of fencing.

Fosu is now getting ready to head out to Cape Town for the Commonwealth Fencing Championships, which she is juggling with her education, having sat 11 GCSEs including Chinese, Spanish, economics and history.

The teenager is currently ranked 99 in the world in the Under-20 age group – the youngest ever to rank so high in the world rankings.

Rt Hon Lord Paul Boateng of Wembley and Akyem said: “Yasmine is blazing a trail in a sport where Africa and its diaspora are too rarely represented.

“Yet any visit to a museum will show that swordsmanship has been practised in Africa for centuries, with some of the finest pieces of work emanating from the ancient kingdoms of Ghana, to which Yasmine can trace her ancestry. Brent and Ghana can be justly proud of this rising ‘Black Star’.”

The youngster is pleased to have made the decision to represent the country where he father hails from.

She said: “Representing Ghana means a lot to me because although I train in Britain, I feel very in touch with my Ghanaian heritage. I was the first representative for Ghana in fencing and I hope that others will see that they can too be the first representative for their countries because this brings diversity to the sport.

“I especially enjoy representing Ghana because many of the other African countries also have few representatives; we see each other on the competition circuit and we become closer and closer friends. I’m excited for the Commonwealth Fencing Championships in Cape Town as it not only brings together many of the African nations, but also fencers from other Commonwealth countries around the world, and you meet a lot of new and interesting young people.

“We all stay in touch with each other. I believe we will reflect that unity and bond amongst all the African nations between us through our adult lives.”


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