Taekwondo federation begins training for Tokyo 2020 Olympic

The failure of Nigerian taekwondoists to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympics Games has compelled the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation (NTF) to begin early preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Games.

In its quest to qualify for the Tokyo Games, the NTF is organising an Invitational Taekwondo 16-team tournament in Lagos.

According to the federation, the championship is scheduled to hold at the Sports Hall of the University of Lagos from Oct. 6 to Oct. 8.

The championships Coordinator, Emmanuel Oghenejobo, told the media on Wednesday in Lagos that the competition was being sponsored by Master Gee Ltd, a Lagos-based events management company.

Oghenejobo said the event would feature adult Kyorugi for males in the -58kg, -68kg, -80kg and +87kg, while the females compete in -49kg, -57kg, -67kg and +73kg categories.

He said that there would also be adult Poomsae as individual event, saying “These events are in the standard Olympic weight categories which are geared towards 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

“Following our inability to qualify for the just-concluded Rio 2016 Olympics in Brazil, stakeholders have resolved to go back to the drawing board with more concentration of the Olympic categories.

“As part of our resolve to be in Tokyo, we decided to organise this competition which is restricted to adult male and female categories. It is purely to reposition the sport and discover new sets of athletes that will represent the nation in international competitions.

“We don’t need to wait till close 2020 Olympic Games before we start preparations, the journey to put our house in order for series of Olympic qualifiers’ has started already,’’ he said.

The 1992 Barcelona Olympics heavyweight silver medallist, expressed confidence that the competition would produce athletes capable of representing the country at the Tokyo Games.

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