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2020 Olympics: Taekwondo boss applauds Anyanacho for securing place

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Stella Ebikefe, the Chairperson of Nigeria Police Taekwondo (NPT) has expressed delight with Elizabeth Anyanacho for becoming the second ever female Nigerian to secure a place in Taekwondo at the Olympics.

Ebikefe made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Wednesday.

The first ever female Nigerian to secure a place in Taekwondo at the Olympic was Princess Dudu at the Athens Games in 2004.

Anyanacho, 20, qualified 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.

Her compatriots Benjamin Okuomose, Chinazum Nwosu and Ifeoluwa Ajayi failed to clinch an Olympic ticket.

Ebikefe said she was proud of Anyanacho for clinching a gold medal in the just-concluded African Qualifications for Tokyo 2020 held in Rabat.

“A big congratulation to Anyanacho, second ever female taekwondo Olympian for representing us well in the tournament. It was a good outing for Nigeria because we have qualified for Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

“In fact I am very happy and impressed with Anyanacho’s performance. It is a great achievement to us as women, taekwondo family and our great nation, Nigeria.

“To me, she has distinguished herself, having broken a 16-year jinx of Nigerian female Taekwondoists not able to qualify for the Olympics since 2004. It’s a wonderful performance, kudos Anyanacho,” she said.

Ebikefe, a Chief Superintendent of Police, described the nation’s qualifications for the summer Olympics as a milestone achievement, saying it showed that the country’s taekwondo was coming up.

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She also commended other athletes in the team, saying that they all performed creditably as their individual performances placed Nigeria fourth among the 10 countries that qualified for the games in Rabat.

“This achievement is something we have been longing for in every Olympic year after 2004 and thank God for a dream come through. Nigeria taekwondo has proved that it’s a sport to reckon with.

“Nigeria won gold and two bronze medal tickets out of the four athletes in the team that represented us in the tournament. They all did well,’’ she said.

She advised Anyanacho who is also the current national taekwondo champion and 2019 African Games medallist to remain focused in her quest to make the nation proud in Tokyo.

“The taekwondo star who is presently a 300-level student of Statistics at the Federal University of Technology Owerri, needs all the encouragement, prayers and support from all,’’ Ebikefe said.

NAN reports that Chinazum Nwosu, Benjamin Okuomose, Elizabeth Anyanacho and Ifeoluwa Ajayi made team Nigeria for the African Qualifications held from Feb. 21 to Feb. 23 in Rabat, Morocco in which 63 countries participated.

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