Nigeria's youth taekwondo coach to lead charge for fresh talent

By Daily Sports on August 8, 2018

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Nigeria's national junior taekwondo coach Jamilu Mohammed has highlighted the importance of national youth tournaments to discover new athletes.

The former African and Commonwealth champion was speaking after the nation won four bronze medals at last month's African Youth Games in Algiers.

This placed Nigeria seventh on the medal table out of 27 countries taking part.

"I was impressed by the spirit shown by the youngsters despite their relative inexperience in the sport and their first encounter with their international counterparts," said Mohammed.

"We trained the team for only seven weeks and we were first challenged by how fresh the athletes were when they came to camp.

"Most were in junior belts - white, yellow, blue - and initial fitness tests done showed they were lacking in so many areas.

"But they worked really hard for these seven weeks and it showed during the competition.

"They were very anxious about experiencing so many things for the first time but hung on to win some medals.

"Now we need to keep checking on the development of these athletes, so they can transition properly to the seniors, and I will start looking out immediately for fresh talents.

"The next edition of the African Youth Games is in two years, so the upcoming National Youth Games will be an ideal place to start looking so we can have a lot more than seven weeks to train and expose the athletes.

"These kind of youth tournaments are absolutely vital if we want to uncover and build a strong national junior team."

Nigeria's National Youth Games will be held in Ilorin, between September 7 and 17.

Chika Chukwumerije is the only Nigerian to win an Olympic taekwondo medal.

He claimed bronze in the over-80 kilograms division at Beijing 2008.


Photo:Jamilu Mohammed watches the action at the African Youth Games in Algiers©NTF

Source Daily Sports

Posted August 8, 2018

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