National team captain Chinazum Nwosu and her three teammates have expressed their readiness for the forthcoming Africa Qualification Tournament slated to kick off on the 22nd of March in Rabat Morocco.
Nwosu, who narrowly lost out on clinching the Rio 2016 Olympic ticket will be hopeful for different results in Rabat, where she had won the All African Games Gold medals just six months ago.
She admits to feeling the pressure but backs her team to perform at the qualifiers.
“It is normal to feel pressured but am focused on the game and putting up a right mindset. As captain of the team, I know 100% that the team is ready and are very focused on qualifying for the Olympics.”
National champion and African Games bronze medalist, Benjamin Okuomose, who won his first major international medal when he came away with bronze at the 2019 All African Games, will be looking to go on step further when he returns to Rabat this weekend.
The Edo-state born athlete noted his increase in confidence after performing well at the Fujairah Open a fortnight ago and looks to keep his focus and clinch the ticket.
“The tournament at Fujairah helped build my confidence the more. I have been waiting and training for the day to come, although it has not been easy. I do not feel any tension and I am very ready to make Nigeria proud. I just have to stay focused.”
For his teammate and fellow bronze medalist at the 2019 All African Games and Fujairah Open, Elizabeth Anyanacho, the support from the Nigeria Taekwondo community, Federation and media has been very relaxing and helps the serious preparations undergone by the team.
“My mind and body have undergone serious training, so I believe I have prepared enough. I would like to thank the Nigeria Taekwondo family for their kind words and encouragement. It has been really nice to get so many people – from the media, taekwondo community, federation – sending goodwill messages and showing their support for the team. We will do our best to qualify”
Nigeria International Open gold medalist and current National Champion, Ifeoluwa Ajayi, noted that the team will be up against the best, but the team will do everything it takes to qualify.
“The training has been intense, and I was able to scale through and survive the intense training. We have been training for about six to seven weeks. I am hoping for the best even though I am going to be up against athletes that I have not competed against before. But we are in a good place mentally.”
The team departed this morning for Rabat, Morocco via Air Maroc Airlines.