By Our reporter Thursday, January 12, 2012
Beijing Olympics bronze medalist, Chika Chukwumerije, yesterday shed his blood for Nigeria before qualifying for the London 2012 Olympics at the World Taekwondo Federation organised qualifiers in Egypt.
And his victim was his conqueror at the All Africa Games in Maputo, Ivorien Zokou Saint Nom Firmin, who lost 13-9 to the Nigerian, who zoomed to the Olympics. It was a bloody battle but Chukwumerije was determined to avenge his loss and was victorious. Despite the diry tactics employed by the Ivorien, Chukwumerije kept his cool while the Ivorien defied officials and paid dearly for it when his points were deducted for infringement.
At a stage, frustration led him to step on the Nigerian that made the officials to halt the game. This led to Chukwumerije’s bleeding from the nose and was promptly treated by the Nigerian medics. Fighting with a lot of experience and technic, Chukwumerije scored a vital three points when his long legs made contact with the Ivorien head-gear.
President of Taekwondo Federation of Nigeria, Dr Jonathan Nnaji, who relayed the cheery news described Chukwumerije as a dare-devil Lion. “That boy is a Lion. He was calm and calculative and scored his points to the delight of even the opposing camp”, Nnaji said on phone. He was not alone. Scribe, Chinedu Ezeala, also praised the doggedness of Chukwumerije but regretted that he might not be able to fight in the final as he was rushed to hospital for the bleeding nose.”We are not sure that Chika will fight in the final. He has been taken to hospital. We are excited here and his victory has made us forget the freezing cold”, Chinedu said.
Another Nigerian, Isa Mohammed Adam, would mount the stage today to fight for qualification and Chinedu said that there is hope that he would emulate Chika in picking another Olympic ticket for Nigeria. “Isa is a good fighter and we expect that he would summount the odds to qualify for Nigeria”.
It was, however, not all joy in the Nigerian camp as the only women in the Nigerian three-man contingent, Joy Ekhator lost her fight. With Nigerian Embassy officials at the beck and call of the Nigerian contingent, Nnaji and Chinedu said that Nigeria will be awesome at the London 2012 Olympics. One of the upsets in Egypt was that defeat of World Champion, Malian Keita Daba Modibo.
via Daily Sun
New York Times
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