13th February 2024
Elizabeth Anyanacho is set to be the only Nigerian taekwondo athlete at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, making it the second consecutive Olympics where she is Nigeria’s sole representative in the taekwondo event, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.
The 24-year-old, one of the beneficiaries of the International Olympic Committee scholarship, is the second Nigerian female taekwondo athlete to compete at the Olympic Games (Tokyo 2020), after Princess Dudu at Athens 2004.
She is now set to make history as the first Nigerian female taekwondo athlete to compete at two Olympic Games after picking her ticket at the African Qualifying Tournament in Dakar, Senegal from February 10 to 11.
Anyanacho was drawn against Kenya’s Jully Musangi in the women’s -67kg and the Nigerian showed her class against her opponent with a dominant display that handed her the victory in the second round of the three-rounds contest.
She was the only Nigerian athlete to qualify for the Olympics among the four that competed in the qualifiers.
The three others Benjaamin Okuomose, Ifeoluwa Ajayi and Chinazum Nwosu were not lucky in their quest for the Paris tickets as they were shown the exit door in the first round of the championships.
Coach John Victor, who led the team to the tournament, was not too happy with the results of the team but took solace in the fact that Nigeria would be represented in the sport in Paris.
“It was not a really good outing for us, we only had an athlete who qualified, she’s been working very hard in Germany, but we had more expectations.
“We will try to do better next time but at least it was not a wasted event and Elizabeth will go to Paris to try and help us achieve our dreams. As long as we have someone at the Olympics, we can always go for a medal,” he said.
Anyanacho was also the only athlete at the 2023 African Taekwondo Championships in Abidjan, Ivory Coast and she clinched a silver medal in the women’s -67kg.