By Ben Efe
Top Nigerian taekwandoists, judokas, kick-boxers and karate practitioners have their sights set on the maiden National Martial Arts Festival tagged ‘Agoma Opens’, scheduled for May 13- 18, 2014 in Benin City, Edo State.
Top Nigerian martial artists have signed up to vie for the top prizes at stake and according to former Olympian, Emmanuel Oghenejobo-Peters it will be an interesting prospect as young, up and coming martial artists are hoping to dislodge the old timers.
He stated that the event, the first of its kind and biggest in terms of prize money in Nigeria, is ready to go as all necessary arrangements have been made to have a successful festival in Benin.
“If the competition were to hold today, we are ready. The officials are ready, the venues have been fully equipped and the programme approved by the main orgainising committee.
“The festival is the biggest tournament for martial artists in Nigeria. And from here we hope to see upsets as younger talents are emerging and itching to make a name for themselves, most especially in taekwondo,” said Oghenejobo-Peters, who won a silver for Nigeria, when taekwondo was first introduced to the Olympics at the Barcelona 1992 Games.
He added that tournament will be preceded by a technical workshop for, technical officials, coaches and players to enable them update themselves in modern scoring and safety methods. The festival is open to male and female practitioners in both senior and junior categories.