The Technical Director, Nigeria Taekwondo Federation (NTF), Chika Chukwumerije, on Thursday said that the just concluded 2019 Nigeria International Taekwondo Open in Abuja had helped to improved participants’ world ranking.
Chukwumerije told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the 5-day event had also helped in improving the National Ranking System in the sport.
According to him, every competition in Nigeria that is sanctioned by the federation also has National Ranking Points.
“So the more events we do, the stronger and more reliable our National Ranking will be in pointing out the best talents in Nigeria.
“So the Nigeria Open helped to strengthen our National Ranking system,’’ he said.
Chukwumerije said that the event also increased the confidence of athletes, adding that Nigeria athletes were thrilled to engage their foreign competitors successfully.
He said that the event was a real booster to local athletes as it boosted their international confidence, adding that almost all the Nigerian competitors had not met their foreign counterpart before the event.
“The event also helps to increase the federation’s confidence to host international events.
“Being our first ever World Taekwondo sanctioned event in Nigeria; it was also nerve-racking for the federation.
“This is because we wanted to get it right.
“All the service provided from; Video Replay to Live Streaming to the Daedo Electronic Score System to the use of the Competition Event Management Software were done by Nigerian Taekwondo practitioners.
“It has helped us to build massive in-house capacity that we will grow over the years.“
Chukwumerije said the event also helped to boost the economy of the nation, noting that so many vendors benefited from the Nigeria Open by making brisk business.
He said that from sports vendors to food vendors to service providers, many vendors smiled to their banks because of the Nigeria Open.
“The event also boosts our international relations and tourism.“
“A U.S. based athlete said that he had always wanted to visit Nigeria but had no reason to, until the Nigeria Open came along.
“We had athletes from Saudi Arabia, Guadeloupe, Togo that had never been to Nigeria and this event gave them a reason to fulfil their ambition.
“They left with very good impression of Nigeria and booked their return ticket for next year’s edition.
“So Nigeria Taekwondo Open presented the opportunity for Nigeria to be positively branded.’’
The 2019 Nigeria International Taekwondo Open which held at the Velodrome, Abuja had 45 athletes from 10 countries. (NAN)