Having secured the only gold medal for Nigeria in the taekwondo event of the 12th African Games, Chinazum Nwosu has put on hold her celebration to shift focus on Tokyo 2020 Olympic Qualification, which would hold in the first quarter of 2020.
The female captain of the taekwondo team defeated Africa’s number one, Morocco’s Wafae El Atri 26 – 22 in a pulsating finals, held at the Moulay Abdallah Indoor Hall in Rabat, Morocco. Prior to her victory in the final, she had beaten Ethiopia’s Gosaye Fikado 14 – 12 in the semi-finals and Kenya’s Wangari Mwangi 28 – 9 in the quarterfinals.
Nwosu attributed her triumph to hard work as she had put the African Games behind her. “I am so happy I won yesterday. It was very difficult and very hard work has been done by our coaches leading up to the All African Games. So it is fulfilling to see that all our hard work bore fruits in Morocco,” she said.
Nwosu will be looking for a similar redemption in the Olympic qualification tournament as she had narrowly lost in the golden point round of the semi finals at the last Rio 2016 Olympic qualification tournament to Egypt.
The Nigerian appealed for support from the government, corporate bodies to ensure preparations can begin in earnest. “Hopefully, we will not even take any break. We will get back and resume camping for Olympic qualifiers immediately. This requires resources to attend many preparatory internationals and pay for logistics. So, I am asking for investors in my Olympic dream and that of the Nigeria National Team to invest in this journey. We are confident we will deliver and want the government and corporate bodies to be part of this journey,” Nwosu said.
The Olympic qualification tournament for the Africa region will take place in Morocco and the African Champion is expected is face a stern return test match from the Moroccan and also Africa’s number two ranked Tunisia’s Ben Ali Rahma who lost out in the quarter-finals.