Category Archives: Taekwondo

Nigeria Taekwondo Open gets Olympic Qualifiers Status

The taekwondo continental ruling body – World Taekwondo (WT) Africa has certified the Nigeria International Open has one of the qualifying tournaments for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

This is coming one the heels of the certification of the tournament by the WT as a Grade One competition.

In a statement signed by the President of WT Africa, Ahmed Fouly congratulated the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation (NTF) for being granted the Grade One status by the world taekwondo ruling body – WT.

He added: “The Nigeria Open which is listed pn WT Calendar 2018, will be a qualifying championship for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and therefore its success is of utmost importance to WT Africa.”

With this development, players across the globe will be aiming to be part of the Nigeria Open with intention of garnering points to make the cut for the 2020 Olympic Games in Japan.

The Technical Director of NTF, Chika Chukwumerije, stated that this would afford the country to request to stage the Olympic Games qualifiers come 2020.

“If we do a good event, we stand a chance of also requesting to host the Olympic qualifiers in Jan/Feb 2020 and asking World Taekwondo to granting rankings to at least one or two more other high-profile Taekwondo events in Nigeria,” said Chukwumerije.

Also, players and coaches have lauded the efforts of NTF in giving Nigerian athletes the opportunity to compete in a WT-sanctioned event in front of a home crowd.

Current African Champion, Uzoamaka Otuadinma said, “despite the fact that I am African Champion, many competitors that I defeated have overtaken me in ranking because I could not afford to attend internationals regularly. This event will help my ranking a lot if I win and I hope that we can push to have even more G-ranked events in Nigeria, if this is possible our elite athletes can retain their top positions.

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World Taekwondo Federation Endorses Nigeria Taekwondo Open…

The 2nd Nigeria Taekwondo International Open has been sanctioned by the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) as the world Taekwondo ruling body has awarded a G-1 International ranking to the event which is to take place on November 16 to 18 in Abuja, Nigeria.

This will be the first Taekwondo competition ever in Nigeria to have an international ranking, which was a priority for the current board of the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation (NTF).

Speaking on the latest historic development, the NTF Technical Director, Chika Chukwumerije, spoke on how the feat was achieved and the benefits to the Nigeria Taekwondo Community.

“The Federation worked very hard to get the approval from World Taekwondo through the African body, who duly approved after being satisfied that the event fulfilled all World Taekwondo conditions. Despite being some of the top competitors on the continent, our athletes have literally no world ranking because they cannot afford to travel to compete. Thus by getting the event sanctioned, we would provide hundreds of our elite and upcoming athletes the opportunity to gain vital world ranking points and competitive experience with some of the best athletes in the world,” the three-time Olympian said.

Chairman of the NTF Technical and Development Committee, Sani Lawal, blamed the lack of G events for the rise of other African countries over Nigeria at international events.

“Countries like Cote d’Ivoire have more than seven competitors in the high ranked Grand Slams series because their athletes have a lot of ranking from organising G-ranked tournaments in Cote D’Ivoire since 2012. We can see the impact of these tournaments in the fact that they won an Olympic Gold and Bronze in Rio Olympics and World titles in 2017. So getting the Nigeria Open to be endorsed by the World Taekwondo body is the way forward if Nigeria Taekwondo is to have players on the world stage,” Lawal said.

Taekwondo: Dalung For Grand Finale of Korean Ambassadors Cup

The Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung will be the guest of honour at the grand finale of the annual Korean Ambassador’s Cup scheduled to kick off on Friday hold on 1 and 2 December 2017 at the National Stadium Package B Abuja.

The minister will also have the Ambassador of South Korea in attendance as well as other dignitaries.
The two-day tournament is organised by the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation and sponsored by the Republic of Korea Embassy, has a total of 150 athletes from three countries, 18 Nigerian States, 26 Clubs and the Para Military confirmed, who will be competing the Olympic categories of Male -58kg, -68kg, -80kg and +80kg as well as Female -49kg, -57kg, -67kg, and +67kg

Teams confirmed include the National Taekwondo Teams of Cameroon, Niger Republic, and Republic of Chad. Others include athletes from Nasarawa, Delta, Kebbi, Plateau, Niger, Taraba, Ondo, Bayelsa, Anambra, Lagos, Kano, Zamfara, Borno, Abia, Yobe, Cross River, NSCDC, A.B.U Zaria and some private taekwondo clubs.

For the Technical Director, 3-time Olympian Chika Chukwumerije, the aim is to start scouting for and exposing the athletes that would represent the country.

Honourable Minister For Youths And Sports Solomon Dalung

“I am primarily interested in seeing our best athletes right now and making notes. We want to build a formidable national team and we need to know our current arsenal to make a right assessment on the areas we need to work on. Having seen the quality teams registered by Niger Republic and Cameroon especially, I am looking forward to see how our Nigerian teams will rise up to the occasion”

The teams are expected to stay back to compete in the first ever Nigeria Taekwondo Open Championships, holding 9 – 11 December 2017.

Taekwondo: 150 Taekwondists Set For Korean Ambassadors Cup

150 athletes are expected to storm Abuja this weekend to compete in the annual Korean Ambassador’s Cup scheduled to hold on 1 and 2 December 2017 at the National Stadium Package B Abuja.

The event, which is organized by the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation and sponsored by the Republic of Korea Embassy, has a total of 150 athletes from three countries, 18 Nigerian States, 26 Clubs and the Para Military confirmed, who will be competing the Olympic categories of Male -58kg, -68kg, -80kg and +80kg as well as Female -49kg, -57kg, -67kg, and +67kg

Teams confirmed include the National Taekwondo Teams of Cameroon, Niger Republic, and Republic of Chad. Others include athletes from Nasarawa, Delta, Kebbi, Plateau, Niger, Taraba, Ondo, Bayelsa, Anambra, Lagos, Kano, Zamfara, Borno, Abia, Yobe, Cross River, NSCDC, A.B.U Zaria and some private taekwondo clubs.

Speaking on the readiness to host the event, Chairman of the Technical Committee, Alhaji Sani Lawal.

“Our committees – events committee and referee committee – have been working tireless over the past few weeks to ensure we have a great event. We are more than ready to welcome our practitioners and those from other countries to Abuja.”

For the Technical Director, 3-time Olympian Chika Chukwumerije, the aim is to start scouting for and exposing the athletes that would represent the country.

“I am primarily interested in seeing our best athletes right now and making notes. We want to build a formidable national team and we need to know our current arsenal to make a right assessment on the areas we need to work on. Having seen the quality teams registered by Niger Republic and Cameroon especially, I am looking forward to see how our Nigerian teams will rise up to the occasion”

The Honourable Minister of Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung, is expected to be the guest of honour at the closing ceremony on 2nd Dec which will also have the Ambassador of South Korea in attendance.

The teams are expected to stay back to compete in the first ever Nigeria Taekwondo Open Championships, holding 9 – 11 December 2017.

Nigeria Taekwondo Federation Inspires Kids At IDP Camp In Maiduguri

…As NTF explores possibility of introducing Taekwondo

The Nigeria Taekwondo Federation visited the “Farm Center” internally displaced persons [IDP] camp in Maiduguri, Borno state over the weekend.

The objective of the visit was to distribute some Taekwondo equipment and explore the possibility of introducing Taekwondo to a couple of the IDP camps.

Nigeria Taekwondo Federation Inspires Kids At IDP Camp In Maiduguri

During the visit, the 20-Man contingent led by the NTF President Mrs Margaret Elizabeth Binga engaged over 200 children in Taekwondo training and physical exercises.

Other persons in the contingent included: Alhaji Yusuf Mustapha [Deputy Director of Sports]; Mr Taiwo Oriss, NTF Secretary-General; Alhaji Sani Lawal Chairman NTF Technical & Development Committee, Mr Tony Anafulu Chairman NTF Para Taekwondo Committee, Mr Chika Chukwumerije NTF Technical Director, Mr Michael Ugboko Member NTF Para-Taekwondo Committee, Mr Isah Okon Head Coach Borno State Taekwondo and 12 borno state taekwondo athletes.

Director of State Emergency Management Agency, Engr Satomi Ahmed, thanked the Federation for paying an historic visit to the camp.

Nigeria Taekwondo Federation Inspires Kids At IDP Camp In Maiduguri

“you can see how happy the kids are. Activities like this engage them and gives them a lot of hope. We hope that a program can be established so the young people here can be consistently engaged”

President of the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation promised to explore every possibility to introduce Taekwondo to the camps.

“These are the people that sports that helps most. We will start the bureaucratic process that will get the Federation cleared to start up this program. It would keep the local coaches in Borno busy, the kids engaged and certainly we hope that in a few years, many of these kids would have developed their talents and be good enough to enter the national teams”

Taekwondo uniforms and Taekwondo kicking shoes were delivered to the camp authorities to distribute to the kids, with the Federation promising to send in several bags of rice within a fortnight to complement the donated items.

Nigeria Taekwondo Federation Inspires Kids At IDP Camp In Maiduguri

The visit to the IDP camp was done on the back of a successfully completed basic coaching workshop for the region. A total of 45 participants from Borno, Yobe, Gombe, Nasarawa, Bauchi and one participant from Cameroon were taught the latest Taekwondo rules and basic Taekwondo coaching methodology during the workshop.

It is the first of six workshops that federation will organize across the six geo-political zones. The other cities to hold the workshop include Abakaliki, Makurdi, Osogbo, Gusau and Calabar.

Abuja to host 2017 National Taekwondo Open As NTF Names Committees

Rising from its inaugural board meeting on Tuesday in Lagos, the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation has picked Abuja as the host of the 2017 National Open Championships holding in December.

The meeting was held at the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) board room was attended by the President, Mrs Margaret Elizabeth Binga, the Secretary-General, Mr Taiwo Oriss and seven board members – Chief Jonathan Nnaji [International Rep], Dr Mrs Patricia Anyanwu [NAPHER-SD Rep], Mr Obumneme Arum [South East], Mr Anthony Anafulu [North Central], Alhaji Sani Lawal [Technical Rep], Mr Adewale Adebisi [Instiuitional Rep] and Chika Chukwumerije [Athlete’s Rep].

The eight-hour long meeting had at the top of its agenda, the Federation’s constitution draft and the NTF calendar for 2017 & 2018.

The approved NTF calendar signaled the ambitious resolve of the new administration, under the leadership of its first female President, Mrs Margaret Elizabeth Binga, to keep its practitioners engaged.

The headliner event for 2017 will be the Nigeria Open, scheduled to hold 6 – 9 December 2017 at FCT Abuja, which will be organized alongside a National Referee Course. The tournament will be the first ever Taekwondo tournament wholly owned by the Federation, with the NTF planning to secure World Taekwondo ranking status for the event in 2018.

Next month, the Federation will be taking basic coaching seminars to Maiduguri, Abakaliki and Makurdi. During the trip to Maiduguri, the Federation will take the opportunity to visit IDP camps to donate some Taekwondo kits and explore the possibility of introducing Taekwondo into the IDP camps.

This last initiative is in line with the International Charter recently signed by the Federation with the Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation [THF], a critical project of World Taekwondo.

In 2018, the Federation will start its year with a National Trials for the Senior National Team, with follow-up National tournaments for Kiddies, Cadets and Juniors. In addition, there will be basic coaching and referee courses littered across the country.

For its constitutional review, a five-man committee was set up to study the constitution of the International Federation, the constitution template given by the Nigeria Olympic Committee, the code of governance issued by the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports, and various other constitutions. The mandate was to come up with a robust constitution draft that will govern the Federation and report back within 14 working days.

Chairman of the Committee is the legal practitioner on the Federation, Barrister Obumneme Arum; World Taekwondo [WT] and African Taekwondo Union [AFTU] Member, Chief Jonathan Nnaji; 3-time Olympian Chika Chukwumerije; three-time University Champion and World Taekwondo Certified Coach, Alhaji Sani Lawal; and the North Central Representative, Mr Anthony Anafulu.

NTF Board

To ensure that the burden of governance is streamlined, the Federation approved fourteen committees, largely mirroring the committees of the International Federation.

The approved committees are: Technical Committee, which has the Games/ Event Management Sub-Committee and Referee Sub-Committee; Athlete’s Committee; Women’s Committee; TV & New Media Committee; Marketing & Sponsorship Committee; Juridical Committee; Taekwondo Tour Events Committee; Para-Taekwondo Committee; Ethics Committee; Youth & Collegiate Committee; Anti-doping & Medical Committee; and Scientific Research & Educational Development Committee.

In one of its most crucial decisions, the Federation’s board unanimously voted to appoint three-time Olympian, Chika Chukwumerije, as the Technical Director of the Federation thus placing on the Veteran the difficult task of ensuring the failure of Rio 2016 Olympics does not happen.

Speaking at the end of the meeting, the President who is a two-time African Champion expressed satisfaction at the eight-hour.

“We are eager to serve and this board meeting was an open book into the intent of this administration to confront and embrace the challenges head long. We will work hard to find and provide solutions that would develop and improve our sport”.

Nigeria’s Otuadinma Earns World Taekwondo Grand Prix Invitation

Nigeria’s African Champion, Uzoamaka Otuadinma, has been invited by the World Taekwondo body for the prestigious WT World Taekwondo Grand Prix, which is scheduled to hold in Rabat, Morocco 27 – 28, 2017.

The WT Grand Prix Series is a G-4 ranked prestigious event exclusively for the top ranked athletes in the world who compete for ranking points and prize money.

Otuadinma’s strong performances in recent years has helped increase her world ranking. The Delta-born taekwondoin, who started Taekwondo in 2011 and became National Champion in 2012, dramatically increased her world ranking when she clinched the African title at the 2015 All African Games in Congo.

Her semi-finals loss at the hands of Africa’s number one seed in the Female +67kg cost Otuadinma an Olympic slot in Rio 2016, but the African Champion had solid performance at the 2017 World Championships and Korea Opens, which earned her vital world ranking points and returned the odds in her favour.

At the World Championships, Otuadinma defeated Swaziland’s Munave Carlos 23 – 3 before losing to 10 – 26 to 2015 World Team Cup Gold Medallist, South Korea’s An Saebom. Otudinma followed up this performance by winning a Silver medal at the WT G-2 ranked Korean International Opens in Chuncheon, South Korea, defeating South Korea, USA and Columbia before losing to China in the finals.

NTF President, Mrs Margaret Elizabeth Binga, secured the air tickets with which the official team was able to make the trip to South Korea to participate in the World Championships and Korea Opens. The team’s participation ensured they earned vital world ranking points.

Otuadinma (L), Coach John Victor and gold medalist, China’s Li Donghua during the presentation in the women’s +73kg at the Korea Open.

Prior to Otuadinma’s invitation, Nigeria’s Chika Chukwumerije had been the only Nigerian ranked high enough to be invited to three Grand Prix series. Currently, African opposition like Cote D’Ivoire, Tunisia, Egypt, Nigeria Republic, Morocco all have highly ranked players that constantly attend the Grand Prix Series.

The WTF World Taekwondo Grand Prix was introduced by the World Taekwondo Federation in 2013 to provide a homogeneous system for qualification to the Olympic taekwondo competitions with four competitions per year in each event.