Niger Republic gave a glimpse of what to expect at continental tournaments at the 8th edition of the Korean Ambassador’s Cup as the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) retained its title at the two-day championships held at the package B gymnasium hall of the national stadium in Abuja.
The event, which was sponsored by the Korean Embassy, had in attendance a total of 165 athletes from two countries, 19 Nigerian states, 2 universities, 7 clubs, and the paramilitary.
Countries that participated included Republic of Cameroon and Niger Republic while the 19 states that participated included Delta, Nasarawa, Kebbi, Plateau, Niger, FCT Abuja, Taraba, Ondo, Lagos, Borno, Zamfara, Abia, Rivers, Cross River, Kano, Osun and Bayelsa.
Universities that participated included ABU, Zaria and University of Benin while the participating clubs were Dragon Temple Martial Arts, Q-Madi, KinNupe Taekwondo Foundation, Aitek Taekwondo, Legendary Club, Fortress Taekwondo Academy, Galaxy Int’l School TKD Club, Vintage TKD and Metropolitan TKD Club
After two days of action, NSCDC topped the table with eight medals – three gold, 1 silver, 4 bronze; followed by Lagos state-based club, Q-Madi who won 3 medals – 1 Gold, 1 Silver, 1 Bronze; while Niger Republic came in third position with two medals – one gold, one bronze.
African Champion, Uzoamaka Otuadinma, established why she was the number one in the continent when she won the gold in the female +67kg. Fellow National teammate, Chinazum Nwosu, extended her 5-year dominance in the female -57kg when she won the gold with a performance that earned her the Most Valuable Player Award of the tournament. Other winners in the female weights were Plateau’s Ifeoma Dennis who won a gold in the female -67kg and Kano’s Sekinat Adebayo who won a gold in the female -49kg.
In the male categories, Commonwealth Gold Medalist, Shola Olowookere showed why he was one of best upcoming Nigeria Taekwondo stars when he demolished four opponents to clinch the gold in the male -68kg. 2011 African Bronze medallist, Sunday Onofe, won the gold in the Male _80kg by defeated 6ft 6 tall Kenneth Ogbu of Taraba, while the gold in the male -58kg went to Q’Madi’s Abdulmujeeb Sanusi.
In the last male -80kg category, Niger Republic’s Djibo Kadri put in a scintillating performance to clinch the gold with a performance that earned him Most Valuable Player Award of the tournament, while Cameroon’s Bassonyam Blais had to settle for a bronze in that same category.
Best team Award went to NSCDC with their medal haul of eight while the best coach award went to NSCD coach, John Victor, who is also one of the national coaches. The best referee award went to World Taekwondo certified referee, Thursdaline Peter, who was an ex national player and recently won Best Referee at the Korea International Open.
Dignitaries at the closing ceremony included the Minister of Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalung; representative of the Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, Mr Song; the cultural Attache to the High Commission of the Republic of Cameroon, Dr Mrs Lola; the Director of FEAD, Mrs Tayo Oremewe; former CEO of the Nigeria Football Federation, Ambassador Fanny Amu; Award winning Performance Poet, Dike Chukwumerije; representative of the General Commander of the NSCDC, and many other dignitaries.
The participants competed in using the Olympic weight categories, and most will be staying to compete at the first ever Nigeria Taekwondo Open Championships, scheduled to at the same venue between December 9-11, 2017.