National taekwondo coach John Victor says he is full of hopes that Team Nigeria will present three athletes at the Tokyo Olympics slated for 2021.
Victor told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja that two athletes on the team’s substitutes list might join Elizabeth Anyanacho.
Anyanacho has qualified to compete in the Olympics -73kg (welterweight category).
This was after defeating former African champion Urgence Mouega of Gabon 12-5 points in the -67kg women’s bout at the 2020 Africa Taekwondo Olympics Qualifiers in Rabat, Morocco.
“Benjamin Okuomose (heavyweight category) and Chinaza Nwosu (featherweight category) who were on the Olympics substitutes list can join if things work in their favour,” he said.
Victor said no stone would be left unturned to ensure they qualified.
“For now, taekwondo has qualified one athlete and two are on the Olympics substitutes list.
“It means that if things work their way, they will go for the Olympics. But for now, the sure ticket is Elizabeth Anyanacho.
“Because of COVID-19, all we do now is video (virtual training) training and because of proximity, we meet occasionally with a few of them that are around.
“But those that are too far train on their own.
“However, Chika Chukwumerije, the Technical Director of Nigeria Taekwondo Federation (NTF), is the one training Anyanacho one-on-one.
“Lucky for us, the Olympics has been moved to 2021 and the government is beginning to relax restrictions on sporting activities.
“But the thing with preparing for international tournaments is that you need other tournaments to practise what you know.”
“These athletes have lost almost six months of no international event or even a local tournament and it reduces the ability to calculate their progress,” Victor said.