The World Taekwondo Federation has awarded Nigerian Olympian, Chika Yagazie Chukwumerije certification as a Taekwondo coach.
The internationally recognised coaching permit was obtained during the training and certification session held at the just concluded 2017 US Opens in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
The WTF/PATU permit has been made compulsory for all coaches hoping to coach at all WTF ranked events in 2017. The notification was initiated two years ago
According to Yagazie, “there are many changes in the rules that significantly affect both athletes and coaches in training and competition situations. All these situations and changes were thoroughly spelt out and practicals shown for every situation. I think the new rules will be beneficial to our athletes and coaches if they start getting used to it sooner rather than later.”
The Secretary General of the Nigeria Olympic Committee in his congratulatory message to Yagazie Chukwumerije said “I think this is the beginning of a good time in Taekwondo.Being a champion and a leader in your sport, I hope you will bring it to bear to improve more on the skills of our younger ones. On behalf of the Board and members of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, I wish you well and the best in your endeavours.”
Chika is the son of Late Nigerian politician, Uche Chukwumerije. He first drew attention in 2003 during the qualifiers for the 2003 All-Africa Games, where he eventually won a bronze medal in the Heavyweight Male category. He qualified for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, but lost his first bout to Pascal Gentil, the eventual bronze medal winner. He became one of Nigeria’s best chances for a medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. He won a gold medal at the 2007 All-Africa Games in the +80kg class and qualified for the 2008 Olympic Games soon after. Although he lost to eventual silver-medal winner Alexandros Nikolaidis in the semifinals of the +80kg event, he was entered into the repechage round of the tournament. After defeating Akmal Irgashev of Uzbekistan he claimed a bronze medal in the event, Nigeria’s third medal of the tournament. Four years later he competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics, but did not make it past his first bout.