The new national taekwondo coach, Jin Beom Kim began his first assignment as nine athletes are at present in camp for the Youth Olympics Qualifiers cum World Junior Champions holding this month in Taipei, Chinese Taipei.
In a letter singed by the President, World Taekwondo Federation (WTF), Chungwon Choue, the 10th WTF Junior Championship and Youth Olympics Qualifiers would help the athletes to display their skills to the full.
“I expect that the 10th WTF World Junior Taekwondo Championships and the WTF Qualification Tournament for 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games will serve as an opportunity for the youth to display their skills to the full and also to exchange friendship among the youth from all parts of the globe,” the WTF boss said.
However, the nine athletes at the Abuja camp are all gold medalists at the maiden National Youth Games organized by the National Sports Commission (NSC) and they are expected to represent Nigeria at the two events on March 20 to 26.
The athletes made up of five male and four female will undergo intensive training under the tutelage of the Korean tactician in Abuja.
Aside from the Chinese Taipei tournament, the team will have another opportunity to qualify for the Youth Olympics at the African Youth Championships later in the year.
According to a taekwondo buff, the tournament would help to expose the athletes as most of them are below 18 as the likes of Chika Chukwumerije and Britain’s Jade Mary Jones, who won gold at the maiden Youth Olympics and went further to claim the first gold medal in taekwondo for Britain at the 2012 London Olympics.
“I am hoping that these athletes will attend these two competitions for them to be exposed and get the needed experience to compete at big stage. If at all they are not able to win any medal, I think participating alone will help the country to groom new set of athletes that will take over from the likes of Chukwumerije,” he said.