Team Nigeria’s duo of Esther Godwin and Ogeh Ogochukwu have been handed tough challenges as the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF)-organised 2014 Youth Olympics Qualifiers kick off today in Taipei City, Chinese Taipei. After their weigh-in yesterday, Godwin and Ogochukwu will take to the ring today at the Taipei Arena for their encounters against some experienced athletes.
Godwin, who will be competing in the female -63kg, is likely to confront world junior champion, Korea’s Park Bo-eui, in match 16 of the tournament.
The National Youth Games gold medalist is making her first international appearance and she will face a Herculean task against the favoured Korean who is expected to beat Russia’s Turutina Yulia in her preliminary encounter. Also, Ogochukwu will be jostling for honours in the female -49kg category and is expected to tackle the winner between Peru’s Huaman Georgina and Chile’s Rios Francisca.
The nine-man team supported by the National Sports Commission (NSC) will be guided by the new national taekwondo coach, Jin Beom Kim.
Tomorrow, the trio of Iniobong Ekong, Isah Adamu and Bashir Mohammed will take to the ring for their clashes. Ekong has been drawn to face the winner in the clash between Croatia’s Ivina Babic and Canada’s Jerom Andrea in the female -55kg, while Mohammed will confront Cote d’Ivoire’s Aaron Fran in the male -55kg.
Adamu, who will be competing in the male -63kg, will battle Peru’s Oblitas in the first round tomorrow also. 100 athletes made up of 50 male and 50 female are expected to secure their qualifications to the 2014 World Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China from the Taipei’s qualifiers.
However, athletes that fail to make it from the qualifiers in Taipei will have to compete at the continental level for places at the global championship holding later in the year in China.
Source: This Day