Four Nigerian Taekwondo athletes who had been penciled down to represent the country in the upcoming World Junior Championship (WJC) in Tunisia , are currently in the state of shock and confusion barely 72 hours to the kick-off of the competition in Tunis. Virtually all the top brass in the Ministry of Youth and Sports led by the Sports Minister ,Barrister Selcap Dalung are either on their way to Gold Coast ,Australia or already there for the Commonwealth Games estacodes leaving the athletes to be stranded at home.
The young athletes as at last checks by Blueprint Sports last night are vehemently worried as no one, up till the time of filling this report has explained to them on the next line of action. The athletes included two female athletes Happiness Aderemo and Faith Nwankwo who emerged champions at 2017 National Youth Games in Ilorin.
Aderemo who represented Bayelsa at the games was meant to represent Nigeria in -49kg category while Nwankwo from Ebonyi was to compete in the -46kg category. There was also Bukola Ogunesi (female) fighting in the -63kg who won silver medal in the senior category of maiden Nigeria Open. Also, unknown Wisdom Efosa (male) was billed fight in the -55kg. One after the other, the athletes expressed dissatisfaction over what they tagged as ‘abandonment’ by the officials of Ministry of Youth and Sports who are mainly paying attention to the ongoing Commonwealth Games in Australia.
They posited that all the while, officials of Nigeria Taekwondo Federation (NTF) have single-handedly carted for their trainings and other expenses but were dazed that as at Tuesday, they are yet to be briefed on when to depart for Tunis to take part in a World championship which will begin on Friday.
Effort to reach out to the Sports Minister or his Aides proved abortive as none of their numbers went through with most of them said to have travelled to Australia.