Team Nigeria on Tuesday departed the country via Kebbi State for the 2nd Alfaga Cup Taekwondo Championships holding from June 19 to June 24 in Niamey, Niger Republic.
Ferguson Oluigbo, the President of Nigeria Taekwondo Referees Association (NTRA) and leader of the delegation confirmed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria.
Mr Oluigbo said the Kebbi State Sports Council provided a coaster bus which conveyed the 25 taekwondoists that would represent the country in various events of the championships.
He said the self-sponsored event had taekwondoists that were drawn from teams Kebbi, PANAMAI, Michael Opara University, Tai Solarin University, Flower gate, Sunsco and PANAMAI Academy.
“Today is the arrival date for the championships and the 25 of us are going by road with the coaster bus provided by the Kebbi Sports Council.
“We hope to get to Niamey early since it’s close to Kebbi, so that athletes can have adequate time to settle down for the events which starts tomorrow.
“The athletes are ambitious and have considered the value of this championships which made them to sponsor themselves, except team Kebbi that was sponsored by their chairman, Abdullahi Saidu,” he said.
He expressed confidence that the athletes would perform credibly as they have gone through necessary preparations as required of the championships.
According to him, the universal officiating device Electronic Scoring System (ESS) would be put on use.
He added that athletes in the event are expected to be acquainted with the device.
“We are hopeful that our medals haul will be impressive as we have some of the best athletes in Nigeria in the team and hottest coaches too, all familiar with the ESS.
“We also took time yesterday to refresh ourselves on the application of the ESS which they will bring to play and excel in their events,” Mr Oluigbo said.
The NTRA boss who doubled as the Secretary of West Africa Taekwondo International Referees Association (WATIRA), added that three certified Nigeria referees would officiate in the championships holding in Palasia Des Sports, Niamey.
He said that the championships would feature Kyorugi event for the senior, junior and cadet athletes in the male and female categories of the Niamey Taekwondo Federation sanctioned championships.