Monday, 3 April 2017

Nigeria claims gold medals at African Para Taekwondo Open

Nigeria made its presence count at the 2017 African Para Taekwondo Open as the two-man contingent claimed two medals at the two-day championship. According to the Secretary General of the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation (NTF), Oriss Taiwo, the athletes showed their stuff against their African counterparts to lay claim to the gold medals in the men’s 44kg and 62kg. Samson Ukpera who competed in the men’s 44kg was in fine form to win the highest medal at the championship while Faith Bazuaye featured in the women’s 62kg and she fought her way to the final to clinch the gold medal. This feat was described as a lift to para taekwondo in Nigeria as this would give the athletes the chance to improve their world rating. “This is indeed a big feat for Nigeria because these two athletes has now put Nigeria on the world map with their performance and their ranking will surely move up. Prior to the tournament, Nigeria female team was rated fifth while our male was 11th and I am sure with their performance in Rwanda, they will surely improve and move up the ranking,” Taiwo said. The scribe further said that there are plans to include the event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, adding that the top 10 athletes in the world would get automatic qualification to the Olympic Games. “We hope with this kind of competition, our athletes can make the top 10 and we believe with more competition, they can make the top 10 in the world in their various weight categories. Taiwo however, disclosed that Nigeria would not be featuring in this week’s World Taekwondo Federation (WTF)-sanctioned President Cup Africa holding in Agadir, Morocco on April 7 to 9.

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