A total of 122 athletes from 13 countries have confirmed their participation for the Nigeria Taekwondo Open taking place at the Velodrome, Package A of the Abuja National Stadium from February 8-10.
Countries expected in Abuja are Saudi Arabia, United States, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Niger Republic, Congo DRC, Oman, Senegal, Togo, Guadeloupe and host Nigeria.
One of Nigeria’s prominent coaches, Ahmed Adekola-Kazeem said he expects all Taekwondo athletes in the country to take advantage of the maiden Nigeria Taekwondo Open set to take place in the country.
“Nigeria Taekwondo is going through some sort of rebirth, which is sorely needed since we have not had encouraging performances in recent international tournaments. Having the first ever World Taekwondo sanctioned event in Nigeria is a big boost to Nigerian athletes who are inspired by the status given to the tournament and strive to prove a point by coming out tops on the Medals table.
“Thus, I think that the event would be very competitive and exciting and it would be a big loss for any taekwondo athlete that does not register for the Nigeria Open,” said Adekola-Kazeem.
Adekola-Kazeem added that the Nigeria Taekwondo Open will give the athletes the necessary exposure at an affordable rate.
“It will definitely help gain the needed exposure at a very little cost. Many Nigerian athletes are not financially bouyant to travel outside the country, so this is an opportunity to compete against more exposed athlete which will brighten our chance of winning laurels at the All Africa Games, World Championships and hopefully the Olympics. It will also put the Nigeria Taekwondo federation on the world map and hopefully we will be able to win the right to host the World Championship and Grand Prix in the not too far future.”
Reports have it that registration for the three-day tournament could be extended to allow more athletes and countries participate.