NTF boss calls for new athletes, laments late planning


President, Nigeria Taekwondo Federation, Abdullahi Saidu-Baba, has said that Nigeria needs new talents in taekwondo and other sports in order to compete better in international competitions.

Taekwondo won one gold, one silver and four bronze medals at the just-concluded 13th African Games in Accra, Ghana, and although he acknowledged that their feat at the Games came through a lot of hard work, Saidu-Baba pointed out that it was a far cry from their target of three gold medals.

He, therefore, advocated the retirement of all old athletes to pave the way for new blood heading into the 14th African Games in Cairo, Egypt.

Saidu-Baba believes that the process should be set in motion towards this year’s Olympic Games in Paris, France, as well as the National Sports Festival in November.

We need to look at these parameters and begin to prepare our young athletes across the nation towards the next Games in Egypt. Aside that, we must look keenly at preparations. We need to give them enough exposure. These athletes need more competitions locally, more competitions regionally and more competitions internationally.”

Saidu-Baba added that preparations for tournaments should start earlier with athletes competing in their required categories.

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