Aware of the quality of Nigerian athletes, Ghana’s Augustus Agbozo believes competing at the forthcoming Nigeria Taekwondo Open would afford them the opportunity to size up African stars ahead of the 2019 African Games.
The Ghanaian star described the Nigeria Open as another platform for African athletes to garner points for their qualification to Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
“There is no doubt that Nigeria Open promises to be exciting because Nigeria is a force when it comes to taekwondo having produced one of Africa’s Olympic medalists – Chika Chukwumerije and for us coming for the championship is not an option,” Agbozo said.
He added: “If you are an athlete you must be ready to take a risk to compete outside your country in order to succeed. You must also have at the back of your mind that even if you don’t win, you make it a challenge for you to stand firm and keep training hard until you succeed. So Nigeria Open is another risk and challenge, which we are ready to face and compete fairly against some of the best.”
He, however, lamented that most of their athletes could not make the trip to Abuja due to academics commitment.
“Getting the athletes to train is a major challenge because they are in school, and most of our athletes are students. So when school resumes, they do not have that luxury time to train all the time. This is even why I could not register much more competitors for the Nigeria Open. I registered only four competitors. The rest could not come because of school.”
He expressed optimism that his lads would excel at the Nigeria Open.
“Well, our preparation for this competition is very good to a large extent. In fact, I think we have very strong preparations, and this is why I have a lot of confidence in the team. We had competed in previous competition in Nigeria where we picked three bronze medals. We are going to improve on this at the Nigeria Open, which has World Taekwondo ranking, and we are going to come back home with at least a gold medal.”