Tokyo Olympics: Anyanacho Battles Two-time Medalist In Taekwondo
By John Edward
Nigeria’s sole taekwondo athlete at the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Elizabeth Anyanacho, has been seeded 13th in the Taekwondo Olympic ranking and will face fourth seed Nur Tatar from Turkey in the 67kg category in her first fight in the round of 16 on July 26.
The Games hold from July 23 to August 8.
Anyanacho, 21, is the first female Nigerian taekwondo athlete to qualify for the Olympics in 16 years after Princess Dudu at Athens 2004.
Tatar will be making her third appearance at the Games, having featured at London 2012, where she won silver in the 67kg category and bronze at the 2016 Games.
Anyanacho revealed that her preparations for her debut appearance at the Games has been full of ups and downs but added that her recent exposure in terms of attending competitions in Africa and Europe had helped to sharpen her skills.
“It has been tough but I believe that, with the intensive training and exposure, I am going to do well at the Olympics,” Anyanacho told The PUNCH.
“I just need to stick to the instructions of my coaches and stay focused and full of discipline.”
She is expected to depart from Abuja to Kizarazu city in Japan with the second batch of contingent comprising those in athletics and wrestling for Nigeria’s Pre-Games training camp before moving into the Olympic Village next Tuesday.
The Taekwondo event, which will be held at the Makuhari Messe Hall, between July 24 and 27, will see 128 qualified athletes battle for 32 Olympic medals across eight Olympic categories, including male 58kg, 68kg, 80kg, 80kg and female 49kg, 57kg, 67kg, 67kg categories.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will feature a record 33 competitions and 339 events held across 42 competition venues