Fujairah Open: Team Nigeria Wins The Medals
Nigeria’s duo of Elizabeth Anyanacho and Benjamin Okuomose and Kenya’s Faith Ogallo won two bronze and one silver medal to secure Africa’s only medals at the just concluded 8th Fujairah Open, which held at the Sheikh Zayed Sport City Stadium Fujairah.
Participating in the senior’s kyeorugi [fighting] event of the World Taekwondo G-2 ranking event were 383 senior athletes from 10 African countries, including Nigeria, Morocco, Egypt, Algeria, Ghana, Chad, Kenya, Sudan, Cameroon and Benin Republic.
Other countries included USA, China, Greece, Germany, Bahrain, Kazakhstan, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, India, Syria, Russia, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Chinese Taipei, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Brazil, Swaziland, Yemen, Iraq, Kuwait, Pakistan, Sweden, French Guinea, Oman, USA, Croatia, Iran, Mauritania, France, Nepal.
Team Nigeria was represented at the event the quintuplet – African Champion Chinazum Nwosu, African Bronze medalists Benjamin Okuomose and Elizabeth Anyanacho, National Champions and Nigeria Open gold medalists Ifeoluwa Ajayi and Peter Itiku.
In the female +73kg category, Kenya’s Faith Ogallo lost in the finals to Kus Nafia of Turkey, after defeating Abdelelazim Yaraa Shraf of UAE in the quarterfinals and Alsedah Aysheh of Jordan in the semi-finals.
In the female -67kg category, Nigeria’s Elizabeth Anyanacho defeated double Asian Games Bronze Medalist, Tajikistan’s Mokhru Khalimova 3 – 0 in the quarterfinals, before losing 8 – 11 in the semi-finals to the number one seed, Jordan’s Al-Sadeq Julyan.
In the male +87kg category, Nigeria’s Benjamin Okuomose clinched Africa’s third medal and Nigeria’s second by defeating Russia’s Gabrasov Pabel 30 – 10 and UAE’s Amidu Amidu 36 – 11 before losing 27 – 32 to eventual gold medalist, Mexico’s Carlos Adrian Sansores.
In the female -57kg, African Champion, Chinazum Nwosu overcame UAE’s Ramadhan Fatema Yusuf before losing in the golden point round to Asian Champion and former two-time world youth champion, Lo Chia-Ling of Chinese Taipei.
In the male -80kg, Nigeria Open gold medalist Peter Itiku defeated Kenya’s Wafula Innocent 25 – 5 in the round of 32, before losing 7 – 14 to current World Silver Medalist, Brazil’s Martins Soares Icaro Miguel.
In the male -74kg, Nigeria’s undisputed national champion Ifeoluwa Ajayi was defeated 13 – 24 in the round of 64 by Uzbekistan’s Tukhtasinboev Mavionbek.
The team is expected to arrive back in Nigeria from UAE on 4th February 2020.
Last minute intervention by the Honourable Minister of Youths and Sports development, Sunday Dare, ensured Nigeria’s participation at the ranking awarding event in preparation for the African Olympic qualification Tournament to hold 21 – 24 February in Rabat Morocco.
Only finalists at the African Olympic qualification Tournament will secure tickets to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.