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Taekwondo: Chukwumerije wants financial gap between Africa, developed countries bridged

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Chika Chukwumerjie, Technical Director of the Nigerian Teakwondo Federation (NTF), has tasked the sport’s stakeholders to bridge the financial gap between Africa and the world.

Chukwumerije made the call on Tuesday in Abakaliki while reacting to the continent’s poor performance at the just-concluded World Taekwondo Championship in Manchester, England.

Chukwumerije, a Beijing Olympics bronze medallist, noted that the financial spending difference was extended to tactical and technical knowledge between Africa and other parts of the world.

“Once in a while, flashes of brilliance emerge from the continent in the sport.

“But in spite of the obvious amount of quality of talents on the African continent, the lack of real sustainable development in knowledge acquisition, technology, infrastructure and people are evident.

“All these make Africa lag behind in the world and contribute to the poor performances it records in international competitions,” he said in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria .

The 2007 All Africa Games gold medalist, called on the sport’s enthusiasts in the continent to rise and shed the current mindset among them, that “it is not good enough’’.

“We are good enough to build infrastructure, manufacture our own equipment, develop our people, research, document, and apply knowledge while developing our own knowledge.

“Our starting point may be crude but every developed nation was once crude.

“We need visionary leadership, willpower and keen collaboration across the continent,” he said.

NAN reports that Nigeria’s representative at the championship Chinazum Nwosu, lost to Christiana Tyrologou of Greece in the round of 32, of the female -53kg.

Nwosu had earlier defeated Vietnamese Thi Dund Vu 12-7 in the round of 128 as no African competitor made the medals table list.

South Korea, renowned for Taekwondo across the world, emerged overall winners which was staged from May 14 to May 19, with four gold, one silver and two bronze medals.

Great Britain came second with three gold and one bronze medal, while China came third with two gold, two silver and three bronze medals.