Elizabeth Anyanacho says qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is a dream come true after she sealed her place in the taekwondo event at the weekend in Morocco.
The 20-year-old ensured qualification for the global multi-sport event by overcoming Gabonese and former African champion Urgence Mouega 12-5 in the -67kg class at the just-concluded Olympics qualifier in Rabat, Morocco, to become only the second Nigerian to secure a place in taekwondo at the Olympics after Princess Dudu at the Athens Games in 2004.
However, her compatriots Benjamin Okuomose, Chinazum Nwosu and Ifeoluwa Ajayi failed to clinch an Olympic ticket.
“The experience is a bitter-sweet one because my teammates didn’t qualify (for the Olympics). We all came prepared for this and we trained hard for this,” Anyanacho said.
She added: “I started when I was 15 and the goal was to qualify for this event, and it is here now. I thank God for that. I was prepared mentally for this tournament.
Anyanacho also thanked all who contributed in one way or the other in ensuring her qualification for the Olympics, while calling for more support as she intends to win a medal in Tokyo.
“I also want to thank the federation, I want to thank the president – the first-ever female president in Nigeria Taekwondo – Miss Margaret Binga. I also want to thank the (sports) ministry and also my family, my friends and Nigerians for their support.
“I will have to prepare for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and I will need the support of Nigerians and any support I will get to help me qualify because the goal right now is to win a medal in the Olympics.”
The youngster will be hoping to become Nigeria’s second Taekwondo medalist at the Olympics after Chika Chukwumereije claimed a bronze medal for the country at the 2008 Games in Beijing, China.