Athletes from Cote d’Ivoire and Niger Republic are among the hundreds of participants that will compete at the 1st Chika Chukwumerije Sports Foundation (CCSF) International Taekwondo Open Championships scheduled for this week in Abuja. Organised by the Chika Chukwumerije Sports Foundation, the tournament is one of the initiatives specifically geared towards helping Nigeria and West Africa to consistently produce Olympic champions in Taekwondo. The tournament holds at Sheraton Hotel and Towers from 4-7 October with total prize money of N2.8million at stake for winners. Aside the two West Africa nations, Cote d’Ivoire and Niger, states such as Kano, Lagos, Edo, Delta, Rivers, Cross Rivers, Ondo, Oyo, Nasarawa, Bauchi, Imo, Bayelsa, Kebbi, Plateau, Benue, Niger and Abuja. Teams from the Nigeria Police, Airforce, Immigration, Custom and Civil Defence will also be part of the competition.According to the Foundation, lack of constant exposure to world class tournaments, training camps, equipment and training methodologies had been the cause of Nigeria and West Africa’s poor showing at major championships. The Foundation believes that Nigerian and West-African athletes can only achieve the desired results if they are exposed to the same standards enjoy by their counterparts in other parts of the world. It stated that the championship is one of the many steps being taken by the CCSF to deliver value to West Africa taekwondo, and accelerate the performance of national/regional athletes at top global sporting events. The inaugural edition is a four-day programme designed to bring together both accomplished and upcoming taekwondo athletes from Nigeria and West Africa to showcase their skills at the world-class organised event. The CCSF aims to make the tournament one of the biggest and best-organized sporting events in West Africa as it will be using the four Olympic weight categories, as opposed to the regular eight-weight format used in other National/West-African tournaments. For kiddies, a pre-tournament will be held in Abuja prior to the main tournament, with the top eight kids in each age category earning the available 64 slots for the Kiddies event in the CCSF International Taekwondo Opens. The management team of the tourney will make up of local and foreign experts. In the adult Olympics category, the top three athletes will be rewarded with N150, 000, N100, 000 and N50, 000 as well as medals and certificates. Winners will have individual photos with Africa’s first three-time Olympian, Chika Chukwumerije. Other awards include best player award (male and female), fair play award, future champion award (male and female, best team award, best officiating official award while branded taekwondo uniforms will be given to first 100 registered fighters with souvenirs dole out to all participants.