Four Ghanaian athletes, at the just ended 1st Nigeria Taekwondo International Open at the Park B Indoor Hall, National Stadium, Abuja, have bagged three (3) medals.
The WT ranked Championship which saw over 150 athletes from 16 countries saw all four athletes competing on day 1 (Feb 8), with Benson Addo losing narrowly (10-11) to his Nigerian counterpart Muhammad Lawan in the -58kg male category in the Quarterfinals. Lawan progressed to the Semifinals after going pass Nigerien Osmane Ibrahim at the round of 16 stage.
In the female -46kg, Kezia Gbedze failed to triumph over Nigeria Commonwealth Games champion, Esuku Josephine in the semifinals. Gbedze, who lost heavily by 2-24, however settled for Bronze medal.
It was an all Ghanaian affair in the female -49kg Semifinals, as both Eunice Adedapo and Henrietta Armah went past the Quarterfinal stage by winning against Nada Aziz of Niger (walkover) and Ibo Landy of Nigeria respectively. Although, both were in high spirit and determined, Henrietta had the better of Eunice (9-7) but lost in the finals to once Grand Prix participant Couilibaly Bouma of Ivory Coast (10-17). Henrietta took Silver medal, while Eunice picked Bronze Medal.
With three medals, (2 Bronze and 1 Silver), Ghana stood at 6th position on the overall medal table which had the Nigerian national team on top with 3 Gold medals, after Day 1 of the 3-day Championship.
Augustus Agbozo, who coached the four tells TalksenseSports, he is satisfied with their achievement although they couldn’t get a Gold medal, per their target.
“I’m glad about the what we’ve achieved, just that the competition was tougher than we expected but in all, we did our best to get these medals. We would have gotten Gold but it was rather unfortunate for us, as we targeted. We only need persistent training and when we do that, we can do well at Championships. The next target is World Championships, Olympic qualifiers and All African Games. We need more championships to be experienced and be more exposed. We as well need sponsorship.”
The quartet, together with their Coach, Augustus Kwame Agbozo are expected back to Ghana on Wednesday, as the Closing Ceremony and Awards night was held on Sunday evening.