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African Games: NTRA boss says athletes performing beyond expectations

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Ferguson Oluigbo, President, Nigeria Taekwondo Referees Association (NTRA), says the country’s athletes in this year’s African Games have performed beyond expectations by winning first gold medal for Nigeria on Thursday at the ongoing 12th African Games in Morocco.

Apparently happy that the first gold medal came from Taekwondo, Oluigbo told the Nigeria News Agency on Friday that it was a good starting point for the nation in the taekwondo event and he was impressed with the athletes.

NAN reports that Chinazum Nwosu clinched the gold medal in the female 53kg taekwondo event, while Sunday Onofe and Okuomose Benjamin won bronze medals in the 87kg and -87kg male classes respectively.

NAN also reports that the Nigeria Taekwondo national team comprised of eight male and eight female athletes taking part in required events at the ongoing Games.

“I am not always easily impressed but our taekwondo athletes’ performances in this year’s Games has changed that notion in me because they have overwhelmed me with their skills.

“It is obvious that the NTF technical officials did a fantastic job on the athletes during national camp, I must commend them and say a big kudos to the federation.

“On this happy note, I am saying a big congratulations to the taekwondo family and a very big cheers to Chinazum, Onofe and Benjamin for priding Nigeria in the taekwondo event in Morocco,” he told NAN000.

He said the medallists had set the ball rolling for other taekwondoists to follow as they represent the country in their events, adding that they must equally have podium finish.

The NTRA boss said that the victorious performances of the taekwondoists in the Games had increased expectations of Nigeria on the medal table in the thirteen-day event.

“We are expecting more gold medals from the likes of Otuadinma, a 2015 gold medallist in 73kg female class, Ifeoluwa, Okoko, Esuka and others because it’s a medal winning hope for Nigeria’s,” he added.

NAN reports that the 12th African Games which began on Aug. 19 in Rabat, Morocco, with Nigeria’s 427 athletes and officials among other 54 countries featuring 26 sports will end Aug. 31.

MIL/PDE

(Editing by Peter Ejiofor)