Winners to share N2.6m, as registration begins for taekwondo tourney
Winners at the third Chika Chukwumerije Sports Festival (CCSF) International Taekwondo Opens will share from the over N2.6 million prize money for the competition, which registration of athletes and teams is currently on-going.
The three-day championship will hold at Ladi Kwali Hall of the Sheraton Hotel Abuja from October 22 to 27, 2015. According to CCSF, the tournament is aimed at discovering prospective athletes for the Rio 2016 Olympics, showcase the entertainment potential of a well-organized sporting event, and promote the image of Nigeria to foreign visitors.
This year’s edition is expected to be more entertainment-oriented with the award ceremony shifted to a third day to coincide with a musical concert, and table-tennis matches planned alongside a FIFA mini-tournament to run concurrently with the main event.
The last edition, which received a commendation from the National Sports Commission (NSC) had over nine countries, 26 states, eight Universities, as well as teams from the Para Military and Armed Forces participating.
The impressive attendance is expected to be higher in this edition with 12 countries expected to grace the event, in addition to active participation from the Nigeria Taekwondo community.
The tournament, which is set to apply to gain a World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) G-1 ranking status for 2016, is expected to attract over 1200 spectators during the three-day tournament with a total prize money of N2.8 million alongside free equipment worth over N1 million, which is to be given to medalists and participants.
Some notable champions expected at the event include 2014 US Opens gold medallist, Alfaga Abdoul-Razak Issoufou [+87kg] of Niger Republic [ranked 22 in the World], 2015 Grand Prix Champion, Cheick Salah Cisse [-80kg] of Cote d’Ivoire [ranked 11 in the World], double world bronze medallist [2013, 2015] and current African champion, Ismael Coulibaly [-74kg] of Mali [ranked 19th in the World], amongst others.
Nigerian champions expected to fend off both local and international competition include Commonwealth gold medalists, Josephine Esuku [-46kg], Jamilu Mohammed [-58kg], Shola Olowookere [-63kg] and Isah Adams Abubakar [-58kg] and all the national team members expected to fight at the All African Games.