Nigeria’s sole representative in the Taekwondo event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Elizabeth Anyanacho lost out to double Olympic Medalist and former world champion, Nur Tartar of Turkey.
The duo competed in the female -67kg, to kick-start the taekwondo event in Tokyo.
It was a close conest from the outset in which Elizabeth held her opponent to a tie at the end of Round 1.
However, Tartar used her Olympic and world experience to capitalize on the inexperienced Nigerian, as she edged out Anyanacho 12 – 7.
With 7 points to her name, Anyanacho showed glimpses of future brilliance against the world champion, but could not shake off the anxiety in time to overcome her top ranked opponent.
Anyanacho will have to wait to see if Tartar makes it to the finals, to be eligible to fight for a conciliatory bronze medal.
Meanwhile, Minister of Youths and Sports, Mr Sunday Dare, who was at the venue to support Nigeria’s second ever Taekwondo Olympian, reached out to encourage the 22-year old after the match.
“You have done well against a world champion. Keep your focus and let’s pray the Turkish champion gets to the finals so you can fight for a bronze. We are here to support you all day,” he praised.
The taekwondo event has thrown up many upsets,including defeats of double Olympic champion, Jade Jones of Great Britain, defending Olympic champion Hang Jun of South Korea and his compatriot, triple world champion Lee Dae Hyun of South Korea.
So far, Africa had recorded only one medal through the silver medal won by Mohammed Khalil Jendoubi of Tunisia.
Egypt, Niger Republic, Morocco, Mali whose athletes competed in day one and two, have also failed to reach the medal stages.