Okuomose, Anyanacho to meet Mozambique, Gabon in Olympic qualifier Opener
By Niyi Busari
African Bronze Medalists Benjamin Okuomose and Elizabeth Anyanacho have been drawn to meet with Mozambique and Gabon respectively in their opening matches at the African Qualification Tournament, set to hold on 22nd and 23rd February 2020.
The duo successfully weighed in earlier today with Elizabeth Anyanacho weighing 66.1kg for the -67kg category and Benjamin Okuomose weighing 98.7kg in the male +80kg category.
Okuomose has to defeat Mozambique’s Itai Samuel Epitie, to set up a potential crucial semi-final with former World Champion, African Champion and Olympic Silver Medalist, Anthony Obame of Gabon, whom he needs to defeat to clinch the Olympic ticket.
For Anyanacho, another former African Champion and Gabonese, Urgence Mouega., stands in her way of getting to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Hostilities will begin at 12 noon at the Complexe sportif Moulay Abdellah (Palais des sports), Rabat City Morocco,
The draws were made known during the Head of Team Meeting that was chaired by the World Taekwondo Technical Delegate, France’s Phillip Bouerdo, World Taekwondo Referee Chairman Songchul Kim, World Taekwondo Games Chairman, Egypt’s Mohammed Shaaban and World Taekwondo African Official and member of the Tournament’s competition supervisory board, Nigeria’s Jonathan Nnaji.
Organizers confirmed that only finalists will clinch the Olympic tickets to Tokyo, and re-affirmed important aspects of the World Taekwondo competition rules to delegates of the 36 countries present.
Meanwhile, African Champion Chinazum Nwosu and Nigeria Open gold medalist, Ifeoluwa Ajayi, will weigh-in at 12 noon tomorrow, 22nd February 2020, and will know their opponents at 15.00 hrs. on the same day.
Nigeria Taekwondo team were at the Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016 Qualification tournaments, and only failed to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Only sixteen Olympic tickets across eight Olympic weight categories are available to be won at the African Qualification Tournament for Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
For the Taekwondo event of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, there are a total of 128 slots available to be secured – 120 for qualification places, 4 for the hosts – Japan and 4 Tripartite Commission Invitation Places.