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Martial artists to converge on Benin Republic for West African tourney

By Femi Adefioye, Lagos

The tiny West African country of Benin Republic is expected to host the 14th edition of the Pan Africa Martial Art International (PANAMAI) West Africa Open Taekwondo Championships.

According to the organisers, the tournament will hold in Cotonuo, the country’s capital between August 11 and 14.

In a chat with newsmen, the club’s President, Ferguson Oluigbo on Monday said the championships, which will be holding for the first time outside Nigeria would be bankrolled by the Federation Benenoise de Taekwondo Stade de Lámite (FBTSL).

He added that it would feature U-12, U-16 individual poomsae and adult, individual, team, mixed and free style poomsae, which are demonstration events.

“This championships which have held annually since 2002 will be having a change of scene, especially for national taekwondoists who have been part of it for the past thirteen years.

“Being championships that attract taekwondoists from neighbouring countries, the (FBTSL) has decided to extend a hand of fellowship by hosting the 14th edition. It is indeed a welcome development for us and at least a large number of our national taekwondoists’ will be in Cotonou to take part in the championships,’’ he said.

The president added that Aug. 10 was arrival date and adult category would feature in fights according to weight categories of -54, -58, -63, -68, -74, -80, -87 and +87.

He listed the adult female categories as -46, -49, -53, -57, -62, -67, -73, and +75 respectively, adding that participants were expected to undergo weigh-in on Aug. 11 as part of screening.

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