The Nigeria Taekwondo Federation (NTF) has called for more funding and exposure for Nigerian Taekwondo athletes to enable them become world beaters.
Osita Egwin, Technical Director of the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation (NTF), said that funding was crucial to Nigerian athletes attending international championship.
Egwin was reacting to Nigeria’s participation at the just concluded Africa Taekwondo G-4 championship in Kigali, Rwanda.
The team Nigeria finished eighth with one Silver and two bronze medals at the championship which held in Kigali from July 13 to July 17.
The NTF official, however, said with better funding and traveling arrangement, the team would have done better.
“”We faced a lot of issues due to the weather which affected not only our athletes but everyone that participated.
“For us we arrived just a day to the championship, so we couldn`t acclimatise well but, I am proud of the standard that we gave because it could be compared to world standard,” he said.
Benjamin Okuomose in the +87Kg won Nigeria a silver medal, losing out in the final to Morocco’s Ayoub Bassei, while Shola Olowookere lost out in the semi-finals to Tunisia’s Firas Katousi to win a bronze medal.
In the Women`s category, Nigerian Olympian Elizabeth Anayacho lost out to Egyptian Aya Shehata in the semi-finals to claim a bronze medal.
He maintained that a lot of things needed to be put in place for Nigeria to be able to clinch a world title in any major championship.
“Look at Benjamin Okumose in the +87Kg category defeated Olympics Silver medalist in Rio, and top athlete Seydou Gbane of Ivory Coast, so with more training and exposure we can do better,” he added.
Morocco finished top on the medals table with 15 medals (8 gold, 3 sliver and 4 bronze), Egypt second with 13 medals (3 gold, 5 silver, 5 bronze) while Cote D’Ivoire finished third with 7 medals (2 gold, 3 silver and 2 bronze).
Newsmen reports that 39 countries participated in the just concluded continental championship.