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Four taekwondists to represent Nigeria at 2017 US taekwondo open

Nigerian News Update » Nigerian Newspapers
The Nation Newspaper
Four Nigerian taekwondo athletes are set to feature at the US Taekwondo Opens, scheduled to kick off on February 1 to 4 at Las Vegas, Nevada USA.

Commonwealth Youth Gold Medalist, Isah Adamu Abubakar and former African Bronze Medallist, Usman Sulaiman, will be competing in the -58kg category. Current All African Games Silver Medallist, Edwin Samson will be competing in the -63kg category while former National player, Saturday Bashir will be competing in the -80kg category. The Nigerian representatives all currently reside in the USA and train with various clubs.

For current African Silver Medallist, Edwin Samson, competition day cannot come soon enough. “I think I am ready for this challenge. I have been hurting since I closely missed out on qualifying for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and I have started my preparations to make sure that Tokyo 2020 will be different,” Samson said.

For former National Champion and Player, Saturday Bashir, “the US taekwondo opens is a difficult tournament to win. So many fantastic fighters come from all over the world. I am excited to be in the mix of it all and fighting to win a place on the podium”

Other African countries represented at the event include Niger Republic, Senegal, Egypt, Uganda and Cape Verde. The highest profile African competing at the event will be Niger Republic’s Abdoulrazak Alfaga, who won a Silver medal at the Rio 2016 Olympics, a first Olympic medal for the tiny nation of Niger Republic, and he is currently the African Champion in the +87kg heavyweight category.

Nigeria’s 3-time Olympian, Chika Chukwumerije, is also at the event to observe the performance of the Nigerians as well as assessment the growing strength of the African opposition, ahead of the 2019 All African Games.
There are 2464 Competitors registered for the 2017 USA Taekwondo Opens to participate in both the kyreougi and poomsae events, which are categorized into kiddies, cadets and adults. Para-taekwondo will also feature at the event.

The adult kyreougi event and para-taekwondo event have a G-1 ranking status from the World Taekwondo Federation.
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