Nigeria’s sole representative, Samson Ukpera is set to defend his title at this year’s African Para Taekwondo Championships in Agadir, Morocco.
The African Para-Taekwondo Championships is organised by the African Taekwondo Union in partnership with World Taekwondo and has a high G-4 ranking begins on March 28th, 2018
Ukpera, who is currently the defending champion in the male -61kg K-42 category, is ranked second for the tournament behind the world number one, Iran’s Saeid Sadeghianpour.
The kaduna-born para-taekwondo athlete, who is currently ranked 7th in the world, is optimistic about his chances of going far in the tournament yet again.
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“I have been training very hard for this event and I have no doubt in my mind that it is the gold that I want to win. I lost to Iran two years ago, and I am sure it would be yet another battle, but I am certainly gunning to come back home with the title”
International certified coach, Alhaji Sani Lawal, who will be coaching Samson at the event was equally optimistic about his chances.
“Samson is an explosive athlete that is very driven. We have worked hard toward the goal of winning, the event is important especially towards qualification and preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic games, where Taekwondo will be featuring for the first time.”
NTF Technical Director, Chika Chukwumerije, spoke of the impact of Samson on the development of Para-Taekwondo in Nigeria.
“It is amazing that Taekwondo offers inclusive opportunities to the physically challenged and the story of Samson is an inspirational one that we hope to use to drastically accelerate the development of para-taekwondo across the country.”
Team Nigeria, which consisted of NTF President, Margaret Elizabeth Binga, Chairman Technical and Development Committee, Alhaji Sani Lawal and African Para-Taekwondo Champion, Samson Ukpera departed Lagos today via Air Maroc Airlines.