Ahead of next month summer Tokyo Olympic Games, Nigeria’s sensational taekwondo star, Elizabeth Anyanacho, said she will use the upcoming African Taekwondo Championships in Dakar, Senegal to showcase her skills and techniques she has learnt in training as she prepares to return Nigeria to the podium at the global showpiece after 16 years.
The two-day continental championship scheduled to hold from June 5 to 6, 2021 at the Dakar Arena is a major event that will count towards the seeding of exponents at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Speaking to journalists in Abuja on Tuesday ahead of her departure for Senegal, the Tokyo Olympics bound Anyanacho said her target to Dakar is to win gold and use the championship to test run her techniques and know how her training has been.
I’m going to use the African championship to test all my techniques and know how my training has been. I’m actually going for the gold medal in Dakar and showcase everything I have learnt.
“It is a major tournament and it will also serve as a preparatory event for me to the Tokyo Olympics,” she said.
The 16-year-old promising taewondoist, who was the first Nigerian female to qualify for the Taekwondo event of the Olympics in 16 years and the second female after Princess Dudu’s qualification for the Athens 2004 Olympics, described her preparation for both the African Championship and Olympic Games as great, saying she ready to listen and following her coach instructions to attain greater height in her career.
“My training has been great because we had some camps and national athletes always come to help me work on my attributes. So, the training has been wonderful and I always have the African champion as well to help me fight and I feel better.
“My coach has been a great mentor and he has a lot of experience. He has been the one training me technically, mentally and physically for the game. I am really ready to listen and follow his instructions, foot step so that I can be able to attain greater height.
“I have been monitoring my opponent and following their performance, the competition they have attended and their statistics as well. Though the pressure is there, I’m ready and determined to conquer,” Anyanacho.
Chika Chukwumerije, a member of the Caretaker Committee of the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation, said a total five athletes that will represent Nigeria at the African Championship in Dakar are expected to return home five medals, saying the results will serve a good feedback for the country’s preparation for Tokyo 2020 Games.