Over N2.6 million will be at stake as the registration for the 3rd Chika Chukwumerije Sports Festival (CCSF) International Taekwondo Opens begins for athletes and teams.
The three-day championship will hold at the Ladi Kwali Hall of the Sheraton Hotel Abuja from October 22 to 27, 2015.
According to CCSF, the tournament is aimed at discovering prospective athletes for the Rio 2016 Olympics, showcase the entertainment potential of a well-organized sporting event, and promote the image of Nigeria to foreign visitors.
This year’s edition is expected to be more entertainment-oriented with the award ceremony shifted to a third day to coincide with a musical concert, and table-tennis matches planned alongside a FIFA mini-tournament for PS 4 lovers to run concurrently with the main event.
The last edition, which received a commendation from the National Sports Commission (NSC) has over nine countries, 26 states, eight universities, as well as teams from the Para Military and Armed Forces participating.
The impressive numbers are expected to be higher in this edition with 12 countries expected to grace the event, in addition to active participation from the Nigeria Taekwondo community.
The tournament, which is set to apply to gain a World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) G-1 ranking status for 2016, is expected to attract over 1200 spectators during the three-day tournament with a total prize money of N2.8m alongside free equipment worth over N1m, which is to be given to medallists and participants.
Some notable champions expected at the event include 2014 US Opens Gold Medallist, Alfaga Abdoul-Razak Issoufou [+87kg] of Niger Republic [ranked 22 in the World], 2015 Grand Prix Champion, Cheick Salah Cisse [-80kg] of Cote D’Ivoire [ranked 11 in the World], double World Bronze Medallist [2013, 2015] and current Africa Champion, Ismael Coulibaly [-74kg] of Mali [ranked 19th in the World], amongst others.
Nigeria Champions expected to fend off both local and international competition include Commonwealth Gold Medalists, Josephine Esuku [-46kg], Jamilu Mohammed [-58kg], Shola Olowookere [-63kg] and Isah Adams Abubakar [-58kg], all National Team members expected to fight at the All African Games in a fortnight.