2nd CCSF Open: Chukwumerije searches for future Nigerian Olympians
Chief Executive Officer/Founder of the Chika Chukwumerije Sports Foundation, Chika Chukwumerije has revealed that his goal for staging the CCSF international taekwondo tournament is to have the sport make an inroad to the World Taekwondo Federation and discover talents for Olympics. He said there are plans to extend invitations to athletes from Europe in subsequent editions. “The goal is to get endorsed by the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) in 2015. The CCSF Event Management team decided that it was better to work in phases to slowly build up key event management capabilities towards fully hosting the world in Nigeria.
The first phase targeted the entire taekwondo community in Nigeria – from the states to the clubs, paramilitary, military and other interested individuals. We succeeded in doing this effectively last year, so we moved to stage two, which was to extend our reach to West Africa. So far, we seemed to have done a good job of reaching out to our West African colleagues. In the 2014 edition, we expect a few competitors from Europe and probably Asia to participate in our tournament. The final phase is to push for the tournament to become recognized by the WTF by 2015,” Beijing Olympics bronze medalist said.
Already countries including Mali and Niger Republic have arrived for the second edition of the Chika Chukwumerije Sports Foundation (CCSF) International Taekwondo Open.
The 16-man delegation from Mali arrived Abuja early in the week for the two-day tournament while Niger arrive midweek. Organisers say more teams are expected to arrive this weekend for the championship, which will holds between Saturday October 19 and Sunday October 20 at the Sheraton Hotel, Abuja.
Leading the Malian team is Africa’s finest fighter, Mali’s Ismael Coulibaly, who is one of the highly rated taekwondists expected to feature in the championship. Also, Nigeria Army and Nigeria Navy have registered six and nine fighters respectively for the competition. Also, Samsung has thrown its weight behind the event as the company promises to splash out phones to medalists at the tournament.
Coulibaly, a finalist at the 2011 World Championship held in Gyeongju, South Korea and the current African champion as well as 2011 All Africa Games gold medalist, are expected to compete with some of Nigeria’s finest fighters at the two-day tournament.
Aside the Malian, 2012 All Francophone Champion, Niger Republic’s Abdoul Razak Alfaga will also be among the West African top athletes hoping to have a bit of the N2.8m prize money at stake at the championship. Nigeria will also have national champions like Michael Obiorah, Vivian Ndu, Sunday Onofe, Segun Olushola, Omoowa Omoregie, Ezekiel Obazi and Chimaobi Igwenyere in the tournament. Organisers say they have finalised plans for the tournament holding in Abuja this weekend.