Taekwondo: Korea centre stages grassroots championship, grooms 78 new Athletes

After barely four months, Korea Cultural Centre in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital (KCCN) has again rolled out an in-house Taekwondo championship its upcoming Athletes who are undergoing training.

At the just concluded tournament at its centre located within the central area of the Nation’s capital, a total of 78 Athletes took part.

Results at the end of the competition released by technical team showed that Meyatti Lawal beat Chizea Nwachukwu to win gold medal in the Kyorugi U-9 male category, while Ndubisi Chizea defeated Ikechukwu Kalu Kyorugi U-8 male category, with Amarachikali Adigwe, Kanetochukwu Adigwe outplayed Asma Muhammad and Alymraa Yunus to win gold in Kyorugi U-9 and U-10 female categories respectively.

In the poomsae events, Ikechukwu Chizea won gold (over 8) brown belt and Mayatti Lawal won blue belt (over 8) gold, while the gold medals of green belt and yellow belt went to Kanetochukwu Adigwe and Anthony Sobaloju respectively.

Folu Omole and Chizea Chinonyelum beat Simi Omole and Chizea Chisom to win blue belt U-8 and green belt U-8 gold medals respectively.

A total of 78 kids comprising 34 under-8 age and 34 over-8 age each participated in the championship.

Chief taekwondo instructor at KCCN, Abdul-Malik Mohammad, said the essence of regular taekwondo classes and in-house championships organised by the Korea Cultural Centre of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea was to identify and develop talented young athletes who will win medals for Nigeria.

Muhammad said talents that were discovered, groomed and graduated over the years from the Centre were now excelling in national, continental and international sports competitions for Team Nigeria.

A 4-degree black-belter graduate from Kyung Her University in Korea, who spoke during the one of the In-house championships held on Tuesday at the KCCN, Abuja, said the training would expose the kids to Korean culture, martial art, self- defence and self-confidence. In addition, they would receive knowledge of basic techniques, style forms, contact sparring and board breaking.

According to him: “The essence of the classes and in-house championship is to hunt for talents that will, in turn represent Nigeria at international competitions including Olympics and do our nation proud.

“The regular classes comprise of poomsae, kyorugi (Olympic Style Fight), belt wrestling, flexibility test, high jump and many other things we do to boost their confidence and expose them to competitive challenges.

“As we speak there are some of our old students who will be doing their first degree at the end of this year. There are some of them also who have competed and won laurels at events held within Abuja.”

Muhammad, who has been with the Korean Centre for decade, lauded the Korean Cultural Centre initiative which he said would be of immense benefit to Nigeria given the quality training and facilities the athletes are being expose to.

He also acknowledged the partnership between the Centre and Universal Basic Education (UBEC) for summer classes to train school children annually.

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