Nigeria Taekwondo Open: 16 countries to participate

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LONDON, ENGLAND AUGUST 8, 2012-Russia's Alexey Denisenko and Croatia's Heiner Oviedo battle in a prelimanary taekwondo bout at the 2012 London Olympics on Wednesday. (Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times)

More than 16 countries are billed to take part in the 2018 Nigeria Taekwondo Open planned to hold in Abuja from Nov. 16 to Nov. 18, the organiser, Nigeria Taekwondo federation (NTF) has said.

Chika Chukwumerije, the federation’s Technical Director, who made the disclosure in Abuja at a training session on Wednesday, said preparations were on to stage the second edition of competition that had transformed to an international competition.

“To this end, countries in parts of the world and Africa continent will be in Abuja from Nov. 16 to Nov. 18 for the championship,’’ he said.

Chukwumerije said that this year’s version has been endorsed by World Taekwondo (WT) governing body as a G-1 international ranked programme.

He said that the event was a major feat by the current NTF leadership being the first-ever international taekwondo tournament to be hosted in Nigeria.

“The federation worked very hard to get the approval of World Taekwondo through the African body which duly approved after being satisfied that the event fulfilled all World Taekwondo conditions.

“In spite of being top competitors on the continent, our athletes have literally no world ranking because they cannot afford to travel and compete.

“Hosting this sanctioned event will provide hundreds of Nigerian elite and upcoming athletes the opportunity to gain vital world ranking points and competitive experience with some of the best athletes in the world,” Chukwumerije said.

The Olympic medallist assured Nigerians of the federation’s readiness to ensure that the event conformed to international best standards with a view to promote the country’s rich cultural and tourism heritage.

“We expect more than 16 countries to participate. This will be a great opportunity to make a positive impression of Nigeria taekwondo and the country.

“We will work hard to organise an event that will put us in a good position to bid to host the Olympic qualifiers or other big events.

“This will be beneficial to the development of the sport in Nigeria,’’ he said. (NAN)

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