The technical director of Nigeria Teakwondo Federation (NTF), Chika Chukwumerije has posited that inexperience was the biggest reason behind the poor performance of the country’s competitors at the recent World Taekwondo President’s Cup in Agadir, Morocco.
While also pointing out that the team made it to Morocco on the back of generous contributions made by 33 individuals in Nigeria, Chukwumerije insisted they were not disgraced by any African opponent.
He pointed out that, out of the nine athlete team to the Africa Region championship, seven lost in the round of 16, one lost in the quarter-finals and one was disqualified during the weigh-in.
The NTF buff added that seven of the Nigerians lost to European foes while one lost to an African opponent, despite having a total of five fights against competitors from countries in the continent.
He, however, explained the massive loss to Europeans by all members of the team on experience that can only be gained from active participation in major events, which the Beijing 2008 Olympics bronze medalist says is not the case for the Nigerian contingent.
Chukwumerije stressed: “It is unrealistic to expect a talented athlete that has not competed on the international level before or only one international experience in the past two years to beat competitors that have no less than 20 international competitors in a year.
“I set realistic objectives for the team. I told them to beat every African they met, given that the All Africa Games will be in Morocco in just four months. They met five Africans in total and lost only once.
“Apart from the loss of African Champion Uzoamaka, every other person lost with just one or a couple of points. It was a lack of experience that made the difference.”