Tokyo 2020 qualifier Elizabeth Anyanacho has been confirmed to compete at the African Taekwondo Championships, which will be hosted in Dakar Senegal between 5 – 6 June 2021.
The tournament with a World Taekwondo G-4 ranking will be the most important competitive event on the African continent before the Tokyo 2020 Olympics kicks off in July.
With the cancellation of the Austrian Open and postponement of the Beirut Open, the continent’s top ranked event will provide an important competitive experience for the 22-year-old Elizabeth, who became the first woman in 16 years to qualify for the Olympics when she beat Gabon’s Urgence Mouega 12 – 6 in the crucial qualifying match to clinch the Tokyo 2020 Olympic ticket in Feb 2020.
Key Tokyo 2020 Olympic rivals, Ruth Gbagi of Cote D’ivoire who is the 2017 World Champion and 2016 Olympic Bronze Medalist as well as Egypt’s Hedaya Malek who is a two-time All African Games Gold Medalist and a bronze medalist at the last 2016 Olympic Games are expected to participate at the tournament, setting up a potential showdown between Africa’s representatives at the Tokyo Olympics in the female -67kg category.
Other Nigerians registered to compete at the event include former African Champions, Uzoamaka Otuadinma in the female middleweight category and Chinazum Nwosu in the female bantamweight category as well as former African Bronze Medalists Ifeoma Dennis in the female heavyweight category and Vivian Ndu in the female lightweight category. 2014 Commonwealth gold medalist Shola Olowookere and 2019 All African Gold Medalist Benjamin Okuomose are also registered for the tourney, alongside current National Champions Abdulmujeeb Sanusi in male flyweight category and Abdulateef Arinola in male fin weight category.
Elizabeth will be looking to donors to raise funds to attend the tournament while her teammates will be counting on their states, after their gold medal winning exploits at the just concluded Edo 2021 Sports Festival.