2019 Nigeria Taekwondo Open: Kim Aims To Make US World Championship Team Via Nigeria

As the 2019 Nigeria Taekwondo Open gets ever closer, one of the early arrivals for the World Taekwondo sanctioned event Sohwon Kim of the United States believes that participating in the tournament will boost his chances of making the American team to the World Championship in England later in the year.

The American who last competed at the Israel Open in November of 2018 says he hopes to garner enough global points by winning gold in Nigeria which could see him force his way into the American national team for the World Championships.

“I hope I can win gold to be able to garner enough points to secure my place in the US team for the World Championships. But I must also say that winning gold in Nigeria depends solely on my feeling on court and I hope I can have good feeling go into my fights,” the 2016 World Team Championships bronze medallist said.

Kim who made his first Junior National team alongside his brother in 2012, after starting taekwondo in 2001, also commended the organisers of the Nigeria Open for the reception he got on arrival to Abuja.

“I think I had a smooth ride from my base and I am so excited that I was well received at the airport by the organizers, which for me was a sign of good things to come in the competition. I have been enjoying myself since arriving in Nigeria although it is a different culture compared to where I am coming from. I hope I will enjoy every day I spend in Nigeria to be able to want to come back again,” said Kim who also picked up a bronze medal at the 2016 Canada Open.

Kim is expected to compete in the men’s -68kg alongside athletes from Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Niger Republic, Togo and Cote d’Ivoire.

Mali also joined the US and Saudi Arabia as one of the early birds already in Abuja for the World Taekwondo (WT) sanctioned tournament.

151 athletes from 15 countries will compete in 16 weight categories in the men and women events from February 8 to 10 at the Abuja National Stadium.