The Technical Director of Nigeria Taekwondo Federation, Chika Chukwumerije said champions of the just concluded National Junior Taekwondo Championship will be invited to camp ahead of the forthcoming 3rd Youth All Africa Games (AAG).
The Championships is scheduled for July 19 to July 28 in Algiers.
Chukwumerije told aclsports.com that the recently concluded tournament was an eye-opener for the federation.
The Beijing Olympic bronze medalist believes tournaments like this would help the country to unearth next Olympic champions.
“Those who won gold medals will be invited to camp when it resumes. If there is any slot, the federation will select athletes that merits it through the just concluded Championship”.
“The championships brought me a lot of pleasure and erased my great distress at the fact that the taekwondo federation had not had a national age grade event since its inauguration 31 years ago in 1987″.
“As I looked at the hundreds of youngsters across the six geo-political zones that made it to the historic event, I knew that we had wronged three decades of youngsters whose careers would have been different. I also knew that this was a step in the right direction to ensure that the next generation is not deprived of a vital cog in their wheel of sporting and educational development,” the three-time Olympian said.
“I observed that many of the youth athletes were using the daedo electronic system for the very first time. Also, many had never been to a competitive event with an international standard layout.
So, while the bulk fought with a lot of passion and talent, there was an obvious knowledge gap with regards to how to score effectively with the electronic system”.
“This is why a national taekwondo event that brings together all the regional best is so important. As iron sharpens iron, so will such an event improve these youth athletes and the country will be better for it when the national youth team is being put together”, he concluded.