Elizabeth Anyanacho is set to be the only Nigerian taekwondo athlete at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, making it the second consecutive Olympics where she is Nigeria’s sole representative in the taekwondo event, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.
The 24-year-old, one of the beneficiaries of the International Olympic Committee scholarship, is the second Nigerian female taekwondo athlete to compete at the Olympic Games (Tokyo 2020), after Princess Dudu at Athens 2004.
She is now set to make history as the first Nigerian female taekwondo athlete to compete at two Olympic Games after picking her ticket at the African Qualifying Tournament in Dakar, Senegal from February 10 to 11.
Anyanacho was drawn against Kenya’s Jully Musangi in the women’s -67kg and the Nigerian showed her class against her opponent with a dominant display that handed her the victory in the second round of the three-rounds contest.
Last Friday, the President of Nigeria Taekwondo Federation, Abdullahi Saidu said the athletes are determined to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.
Nigeria arrived at the venue of the Olympic Continental Qualifiers taking place in Dakar, Senegal from 10th to 11th February, 2024.
The contingent is made up of two men and two women including Nigeria’s highest ranked athlete, Elizabeth Anyanacho; Chinazum Nwosu, Ifeoluwa Ajayi and Benjamin Okumose.
Abdullahi Saidu told aclsports that the athletes have the potential of getting a ticket to the Olympic Games in Paris, France.
He said, “I have a positive expectation on the team; we are fielding two men and two women for the Olympic Qualifiers in different weight classes. I believe the athletes are in good shape and their morale is very high; they have worked hard and are hungry for qualification.
“Each one of the athletes has the potential of qualifying for the Olympics; though it is going to be a tough one. I have the conviction that three will make it”.
He revealed that the athletes are not in Senegal for jamboree adding that the athletes have gathered experience over the years.
“Elizabeth Anyanacho is a Grand Prix Bronze medallist and current African Silver medallist at the last African Senior Championship in addition to other medals she has won at various European Championships. Anyanacho is more experienced and ready to get the qualification ticket for us.
“Benjamin Okumose (heavyweight) is ready; he lost in the final to the former World and Olympic Champion in the last qualifiers. Okumose is currently in better shape than the last championship; there is a probability of him making it through this time.
“Chinazum Nwosu, former African champion, is also in high spirits, well prepared and ready to slug it out.
Ifeoluwa Ajayi is an athlete to watch out for and anyone who underrates him will suffer the consequences. We are not going to Senegal for Jamboree; the slogan “no gree for anybody” is our anthem and I believe the athletes will return home smiling,” Abdullahi Saidu added.