As per an article published by m.philstar.com, the 16-man delegation from Mali arrived Abuja yesterday for the two-day tournament while Niger Republic is also expected to touch down in the Federal Capital city this morning.
According to the organisers more teams are expected to arrive this weekend for the championship, which will hold on Saturday October 19 to Sunday October 20 at the Sheraton Hotel, Abuja.
Leading the Malian team is Africa’s finest fighter, Mali’s Ismael Coulibaly, who is one of the highly rated taekwondists expected to feature in the championship.
Also, Nigeria Army and Nigeria Navy have registered six and nine fighters respectively for the competition.
Also, Samsung has thrown its weight behind the event as the company promises to splash out phones to medalists at the tournament.
Coulibaly, a finalist at the 2011 World Championship held in Gyeongju, South Korea and the current African champion as well as 2011 All Africa Games gold medalist, is expected to compete with some of Nigeria’s finest fighters at the two-day tournament.
Aside the Malian, 2012 All Francophone Champion, Niger Republic’s Abdoul Razak Alfaga will also be among the West African top athletes hoping to have a bit of the N2.8m prize money at stake at the championship.
Also, Nigeria will also have national champions like Michael Obiorah, Vivian Ndu, Sunday Onofe, Segun Olushola, Omoowa Omoregie, Ezekiel Obazi and Chimaobi Igwenyere in the tournament.
Gold medalists will cart home N150, 000 while silver medalists will get N100, 000 and bronze medalists will also smile home with N50, 000 each.
Apart from the cash reward, 200 athletes that registered for the competition will get equipment like uniform, kicking pads and skipping ropes valued at N1.7m.
Also, athletes and teams expected to compete at the championship have continued to perfect their skills in readiness for the competition touted as one of Africa’s colourful and glamorous event.
36 competitors from seven African countries including Mali, Gabon, Congo Brazzaville, Ghana, Togo, Niger Republic and Cote d’Ivoire are taking part in the competition.
Also, 24 states, Nigeria Police, Nigeria Customs, Nigeria Immigration, six clubs and 23 individual entry have been listed for the international tournament meant to be a fertile ground for discovery of future Olympians.
According to the Chief Executive Officer/ Founder of CCSF, Chika Chukwumerije, there are plans to extend invitations to athletes from Europe in subsequent editions.
“The goal is to get endorsed by the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) in 2015. The CCSF Event Management team decided that it was better to work in phases to slowly build up key event management capabilities towards fully hosting the world in Nigeria.
“The first phase targeted the entire taekwondo community in Nigeria – from the states to the clubs, paramilitary, military and other interested individuals. We succeeded in doing this effectively last year, so we moved to stage two, which was to extend our reach to West Africa.
“So far, we seemed to have done a good job of reaching out to our West African colleagues. In the 2014 edition, we expect a few competitors from Europe and probably Asia to participate in our tournament. The final phase is to push for the tournament to become recognized by the WTF by 2015,” Beijing Olympics bronze medalist said.