Winner of the male category of the 10th Korean Ambassador’s Cup, Stanley Ogbonnaya.
An aspiring Taekwondoist, Stanley Ogbonaya, who emerged champion in the -80kg of the male category of the 10th Korean Ambassador’s Taekwondo Cup concluded on Friday, says he has his eyes set on becoming a five-time Olympian.
Ogbonaya in an interview with newsmen on the heels of his victory in winning gold at the competition, said he was aiming at becoming a five-time Olympian to surpass Uche Chukwumerije’s record.
Tidesports source reports that the 10th Korean Ambassadors Cup was held at the Molade Okoya Thomas Hall, Teslim Balogun Stadium between Oct. 17 and 18.
The lanky athlete, Ogbonaya, said that though the three-time Nigeria’s greatest export to the Olympic, Chuka Chukwumerije, an Olympic silver medalist was his mentor, he was aiming at surpassing his records.
“I am following the footsteps of one of the greatest Taekwondoists in Africa, Chukwumerije. I am putting in everything he has been teaching me into play.
“Chukwumerije is a good mentor and I will always look up to him because it is not about Taekwondo alone, but the principles associated with it.
“There are principles in and out of Taekwondo which we must imbibed. As the Olympics is drawing near, I am hoping to maintain my quality for the Games and win the medal for Nigeria.
“I hope to surpass the record of Chukwumerije who has appeared three times in the Olympics to attend at least five times to set a new record. I want to be five times Olympian,” Stanley Ogbonnaya said.
Ogbonaya rated the competition as one of the best in Nigeria, adding that lessons from the just-concluded championships had helped him in knowing his strength and weaknesses.
“This is one of the tournaments we are always looking forward to because we don’t have the luxury of many championships.
“My first experience in the championships can be regarded to as a disaster because I got knocked out without winning a fight, but I was able to win silver at the second try.
“I had to intensify training so that I can win gold medal this year and it eventually paid off. I will like to thank the Korean Embassy for organising the championships.
“This tournament has helped to improve us mentally so that whenever we are going for foreign tour for qualifiers, we will be fit enough to win,” he said.
I’ll Be Most Excited If I Win AFCON – Rohr
Super Eagles’ head coach Gernot Rohr last Wednesday, said winning the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) for Nigeria would make him the most excited person.
Rohr who spoke at a post-match conference in Uyo after his team came from behind to defeat the Squirrels of Benin Republic 2-1 said winning AFCON 2021 was a huge desire.
“It will be exciting for me to win the 2021 AFCON title with Nigeria. That’s my desire and I will be the most excited.
“So, winning today (Wednesday) is just the beginning. I can’t be excited until we win the title in 2021,” he said.
Tidesports source reports that the Nigeria versus Benin game was a 2021 AFCON Qualifier and it took place at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo.
Rohr, who said Benin Republic have a good team, also noted that the Nigerian side had a good game in the second half.
“The Super Eagles had a lot of scoring opportunities, but they failed to convert all of them,” he said.
He however pointed out that the game’s opening goal, scored by the Squirrels’ captain, Stephane Sessegnon, in the match’s second minute, was a big shock.
He said: “In the second half, we played a very good match, ‘one-touch two-touch’, and we have good wingers. We had a lot of opportunities, and with the changes we made, we did very well. It is good for us.”
Rohr also said he could not use home-based players for now in the Nigerian team due to specific reasons
“At the moment, the quality we have from abroad is higher than what we have in the home league (Nigeria Professional Football League),” he said.
Speaking also, the Super Eagles’ team captain, Ahmed Musa, said the match was “a tough game for our team, even though we won.’’
He added that the Nigerian side gave their best to prevail over the visitors.
On his part, the Head Coach of Benin, Michelle Dussuyer, noted that his team played very well in the first half.
He however pointed out that the 45th minute penalty kick his team conceded gave more confidence to the Super Eagles.
Also, Sessegnon acknowledged that while the game was not a bad one for his team, the Nigerian side played better.
NAN reports that in the game the Squirrels drew the first blood, while the Super Eagles, through Victor Osimhen, equalised from the penalty kick spot in the 45th minute.
Although Nigeria had several scoring chances thwarted by the Benin goalkeeper in the second half, the winning goal came in the 62nd minute through a solo effort by Samuel Kalu.
Alex Iwobi, Joe Aribo, Samuel Chukwueze and Ola Aina also shone for Nigeria in the match where the Super Eagles confined the Squirrels to their own half throughout the second half.
Enyimba’s Keeper Optimistic Despite Tough Draw
Enyimba goalkeeper, Theophilus Afelokhai has stated that he is optimistic things will work out well in favour of Enyimba after the team got drawn alongside North African opposition, Hassania Agadir of Morocco, Paradou of Algeria and San Pedro of Ivory Coast.
Afelokhai speaking in a chat with Tidesports source said all Enyimba needs to do is to double their effort in all spheres, plan and work hard and believes The Peoples Elephants will not fall short of qualifying out of the group.
“The fact is that it’s a tough group but the draw will favour Enyimba and for God to have us drawn into this group that means he has a better plan for us to qualify out of the group to make the quarter final.
“All we just need to do is to double our efforts, work hard and for the management to do the right thing.”
AFCON Qualifier: Coach Tips Eagles For Victory Against Lesotho
The head coach of Real Madrid Football Academy in Rivers State, Sunny Iseokwehma, has said that Super Eagles of Nigeria have the capacity to win Lesotho in the match day two of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCONS) qualifiers
He stated that presently Super Eagles players are on top form and physically fit to win any team.
Iseokwehma said this in a telephone interview with Tidesports yesterday just after Eagles defeated Benin Republic 2-1 at Godswil Akpabio international stadium, in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
According to him, there is no country that can beat the Eagles easily, adding that the quality of players in the team have the potentials to win any country.
“ All our players are doing well now in their different club sides so I expect them to do the same for their country. Losotho is not a threat to Nigeria in football,” he said.
He commended the Eagles for coming from behind to win its opponents.
Super Eagles is currently on top of their group after 2-1 win over Benin Squirrel on Wednesday.
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