105 Athletes Battle For Taekwondo Olympic Tickets In Morocco
By Our Correspondent
No fewer than 105 athletes from 36 countries are expected to touch down in Rabat, Morocco for the African Olympic qualification tournament, set to hold between 20 – 23 February, 2020
The event, which is the only opportunity left for African nations to qualify for the Olympics, will feature the eight Olympic weight categories: male -58kg, -68kg, -80kg and +80kg, female -49kg, -57kg, -67kg and +67kg.
World taekwondo rules for the Olympics allows countries to contest in only four categories for the continental qualifications, while countries like Cote D’Ivoire and Niger Republic who qualified through world ranking cannot present athletes in the already qualified categories.
Registered for the event are Algeria, Benin Republic, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Cote D’Ivoire, Djibouti, DR Congo, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tunisia and Zimbabwe.
Nigeria is to be represented by the quarter of African Champion, 25-year-old Chinazum Nwosu, African Bronze medalists 24-year-old Benjamin Okuomose and 20-year-old Elizabeth Anyanacho and Nigeria Open gold medalist 21-year-old Ifeoluwa Ajayi.
Taekwondo is one of only five sports in Nigeria that has won an Olympic medal, with the others being Athletics, Weightlifting, Boxing and Football.
Nigeria Taekwondo team were at the Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016 Qualification tournaments, and only failed to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
The team for the qualification event for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, who have been in camping for the past seven weeks and have secured their visas, are yet to depart for Morocco due to unavailability of funds.
The head of team meeting and draws are to be held on 21st February 2020, while hostilities are to commence on 22nd February 2020 at the Complex sportif Moulay Abdellah (Palais des sports), Rabat City Morocco.