Lagos - Abdulkadri Almustapha, coach of the Republic of Niger Taekwondo team, on Thursday said the just concluded 4th West Africa Taekwondo Championships had helped to reposition the sport at the international level.
"It has served as a platform to encourage and provide incentives for athletes and coaches that taekwondo is an internationally recognised sport to be reckoned with", he said in Lagos.
The competition, co-sponsored by the Embassy of the Republic of Korea and LG Electronics Ltd., was held at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos, from September 9 to September 11.
The competition was organised by the Nigeria Taekwondo Black Belt College (NTBBC) and the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation (NTF).
The coach said that though adequate arrangements were put in place during the championships, the input of foreign officials were not allowed at the officiating table.
Almustapha advised the organisers of subsequent editions to make provision for foreign officials from other countries "in order to give officiating a balanced point of view."
He said that his male team won silver medal in the Team Kyurogi (team fight) event at the championships.
Also, Gabriel Santos, coach of the Ghanaian Taekwondo Team, lauded George Ashiru, the NTF president, for providing an avenue for taekwondoists from West Africa to compete.
"I thank the NTF president for providing an avenue for West African taekwondoists to compete and measure the extent of their improvement in the game.
"If such a competition can be organised regularly, we will discover athletes of international repute in a short while,” he said.
Santos said that his team won gold at the Team Poomsae (the art of making series of movement against an imaginary opponent) due to constant practice.
The coach, however, admitted that his team lacked perfection in sparring categories and promised to address the shortcomings before future championships.