World Taekwondo (WT) Africa has confirmed Nigeria alongside 35 countries for the continental Olympic Qualification Tournament scheduled for February 20 in Rabat, Morocco.
According to Africa’s Taekwando governing body, 105 athletes from 36 countries are expected to touch down in Rabat as the 4-day event is the only opportunity left for African nations to qualify for the Olympics.
Athletes will compete in the eight Olympic weight categories: male -58kg, -68kg, -80kg and +80kg, female -49kg, -57kg, -67kg and +67kg.
WT rules for the Olympics stipulates that countries can only contest in 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.
Nigeria will be represented by 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 remains 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 was at the Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016 Qualification tournaments, and only failed to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Team Nigeria for the qualification event for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, have been in camping for the past seven weeks and have secured their visas, but are yet to depart for Morocco due to unavailability of funds.
Also, former President of the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation, Jonathan Nnaji has been named as part of the Competition Supervisory Board to oversee the qualifiers.