Home Sports 2018 Taekwado Trials: 25 athletes qualify for national camp

2018 Taekwado Trials: 25 athletes qualify for national camp


By Mohammed Lawal


Zaria    –    No fewer than 25 athletes have so far qualified for national camp at the ongoing 2018 Taekwando National Trials.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the trials is holding at the indoor hall of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Kaduna State.

The successful athletes included; Peter Itiku from FCT, Sunday Onafe of the National Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Saddiq Abdurrahman from Plateau and Mary Michael from Kano State.

Others are Joy Ikpeamaeze from University of Abuja, Josephine Esuku, NSCDC, Sekinat Adebayo’ NSCDC and Elizabeth Anyanacho also of NSCDC among others.

Speaking with NAN on the sideline of the trials on Sunady, the Technical Director, Nigerian Taekwando Federation (NTF), Mr Chika Chukwu-Merije said those who won in their respective categories during the trial have already gotten slot into national camp.

Chukwumerije, a three time Olympiano, said: ” The national open championship is actually a wall cat championship. Usually, we invite the top three to the camp, then the winner of the national trial open championship of the four per wight category.

“The reason behind this is that many times people don’t have funding to always compete, so, there might be wonderful talents but just because they don’t have those funds, others have a lot more points than them.

“Therefore, this tournament is an avenue for them to come and showcase their talents and skills to earn that wall cart into the national camp,” he said.

According to him, a maximum of 64 athletes will qualify, saying there is going to be 32 winners.

“But we foresee that most of the winners have already been topping their table, 64 athletes will be invited to the camp four per weight category.

“The trials is to prepare for the All African Games slated for next year and the Olympics in two years to come, because the results from Nigeria open held in December and this one showed that the old guys are on their way out,” he said.

Chukwumerije said most of the current winners were people who have not been to any national team, saying probably, the federation would now have a national team that lacks international experience.

He said by having a lot of competitions such as the ongoing trial many more young athletes would be exposed.

“We want them to be groomed in time so that by the time they get to the All African Games they will have the composure and experience to win the medals Nigeria needs.”

He said the essence of the age grade tournament was to help the federation find talents from kids and trace their development through the cadet, junior up to he senior level.

Chukwumerije stressed the need for the federation to reach out, because Taekwado was such a vibrant sport.

“By now, we should be looking ahead to have official partners just like Nigeria Football Association (NFA) does. We have colorful programmes but we need the backing of the corporate bodies to help.

“We can promote what they do because we have brand ambassadors.”

He said the federation needed a National Training Centre, Standing National Team as well as attendance at international events.

He thanked the ABU Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ibrahim Garba for approving the use of the indoor hall for free.

“We want to thank the ABU V-C for making the institution’s facilities available to us, welcoming all these people, providing security, light, fuel and all those things which matter a lot.”

NAN reports that the trials is still ongoing to select the remaining athletes to make a total of 64 to the national camp.

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