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Maputo: Taekwondo banks on sports festival

The Nigeria Taekwondo Federation (NTF) on Thursday said it would use the National Sports Festival to unearth new talents for the All Africa Games (AAG) in Maputo, Mozambique, in September.

The sports festival will hold at the new Adokiye Amiesimaka Sports Complex, Port Harcourt, from June 27 to July 11.

NTF secretary Chinedu Ezeala-Ogundare said in Lagos that the new talents would fight for slots to the Games with other athletes to be selected from its trials beginning on Monday.

“The new athletes are to compete with the athletes invited from among the successful ones at the 2009 National Sports Festival and 2010 Second Korea Ambassador Taekwondo Championships.

“We will invite some athletes based on their individual performances in the past, while the trials will also be open to successful athletes from the festival,” she said.

Ezeala-Ogundare said the male and female athletes would compete in 17 weight categories in the trials holding from June 20 to June 22.

She added that the males would fight in eight categories and the females in seven.

The secretary listed the category for the men as -54kg not exceeding 58kg, -54kg to 63kg, -58kg to 63kg, -63kg to 68kg,
-68kg to 74kg, -74kg to 80kg, -80kg to 87kg and over 87kg.
The women on the other hand will fight in the -46kg, -46kg to 49kg, -49kg to 53kg, -53kg to 57kg, -57kg to 62kg, -62kg to 67kg and -67kg to 73kg.

Ezeala-Ogundare said the federation would ensure that the athletes competed in their kits, including head protector, shin guards, gloves and groin guards to prevent injuries.

She disclosed that the successful athletes at the sports festival would be invited to camp in Lagos immediately after the competition to join the other invited athletes before the final trials.

“We don’t want to be sentimental about the selection of athletes for the Maputo Games because our aim is to make the country proud,” she said.


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