The 2019 Nigeria Taekwondo International Open, to be held in Abuja from February 8 to 10, wil get together a total number of 13 countries who have completed their registration for the G-1 category event on the World Taekwondo’s (WT) calendar for the current year.
According to the details of registration, a total of 122 participants have so far confirmed their participation in the tournament. 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 the host: Nigeria.
Commenting on this stats and the importance of the event, one of Nigeria’s foremost taekwondo coaches, Ahmed Adekola-Kazeem, said he is excited about the staging of the Nigeria Open sanctioned by WT, adding that the tournament would surely inscribe the country on the world map.
An elated Adekola-Kazeem said: “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 Nigeria 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 a big loss for any taekwondo athlete that does not register for the Nigeria Open.”
On the possible impact of the tournament on the fortune of taekwondo in Nigeria, the coach said: “It will definitely help gain the needed exposure at a very little cost. Many Nigeria athletes are not able to afford to go 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.”