Emmanuel Oghenejobo, pioneer of the annual Agoma Open Taekwondo Festival, said that he was glad to have first timer Cameroon 11-member team amongst 181 athletes in the 18th edition which kickoff on Wednesday in Kebbi.
Oghenejobo told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on telephone that other African countries such as Niger Republic, Ghana and Gabon were regulars in the competition participated by state teams and taekwondo Clubs.
He said that the annual tournament holding in Kebbi Stadium, with Poomsae, Hoshindul, Kyopa and Kyorugi events for junior and adult categories, would end Oct. 5.
“The Agoma tournament is a consistent tournament that is helping our taekwondoist and neighbouring athletes to be improving in their career and we have 181 entries this year against the 145 last year.
“We are making progress and I am happier because we are having 11 athletes from team Cameroon amongst others that will take part in the events which starts this evening”, he said.
The 1992 Barcelona heavyweight taekwondo Olympian said the tournament had produced national athletes that represented the country in continental and intercontinental games, and would remain committed in developing taekwondo sport.
According to him, the urge to give back to the society and discover more talents for the nation through the annual Agoma Festival have sustained his drive and efforts in organising the annual tournament.
Meanwhile, Ferguson Oluigbo, tournament director of the festival, told NAN that accreditation, weigh-in and health fitness test as well as officials seminar have been concluded for the athletes and referees.
Oluigbo said that the Kebbi State Taekwondo Association (KSTA) host tournament would also have the Electric Scoring System (ESS) as device which was part of effort to make the competition standard.
“The athletes have been certified and good to go for their events and the idea is to avoid any form of deficiency but rather have a hitch free event and to maintain good image.
“Application of current rules in line with the ESS must be brought to play and that was extensively treated in the technical officials course yesterday, so we set,” he added.
NAN reports that the tournament was introduced in 2001 with the name ‘Agoma Martial Arts Sports Festival’ by Emmanuel Oghenejobo, with Taekwondo, Karate, Kickboxing, Judo and Wushu Kung-fu events.
In 2016 Oghenejobo settled for taekwondo event only and changed the name of the tournament to ‘Agoma Open Taekwondo Festival’ which is known for till date.