Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria Kazuyoshi Matsunaga has expressed his determination to cooperate with Nigeria Nigerian Karate Federation (KFN) to promote the sport in the country.
Kazuyoshi made the announcement on Saturday at the closing ceremony of the first Japanese Ambassador Karate Championships at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja.
According to the envoy, the competition will be an annual event aimed at discovering Nigeria’s raw talent.
He said: “I took some pictures during the competition which I will send to the Japan Karate Federation to show the high level performance of the Nigerian athletes.
“I want to continue to support karate in Nigeria; it will not be a one-stop competition, it will be an ongoing competition.”
Mr Kazuyoshi said he was impressed with the level and performance of Nigerian karate players in the competition, adding that the competition was “the first step in continuing our contribution to the promotion of karate in Nigeria”.
He also thanked all those who made the first competition a colorful and successful event.
“Karate is one of the very popular sports at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“I was so impressed by seeing many karate enthusiasts here, as well as karate clubs and athletes, that I decided to promote it,” he said.
Mr Kazuyoshi said they needed media support to help spread the word about the sport in Nigeria.
“We need the support of the media to promote the sport in Nigeria, without the media, the sport would not have the necessary publicity,” he said.
KFN chairman Silas Agara said he was pleased with the turnout of the participants in the tournament.
According to him, this is the best tournament organized by the federation.
“I am very satisfied with the level of competition, which shows that the athletes are waiting for more world championships to come.
“The athletes are full of energy and we have top-notch athletes here, so we’re very happy with the numbers,” he said.
According to him, the essence is to organize more competitions to help the federation discover more talents.
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“We’re looking at the levels of our trainees to see how we can use them to replace aging athletes in the future,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that 17 states, 7 parastatal institutions and 3 clubs participated in the four-day tournament, with the FCT team winning.
National Gold Silver Copper Location
FCT Abuja 7 2 13 1st
Nasarawa 5 3 – 2nd
delta. 2. 4 1 third
Lagos. 1 1 1 4
Cross Rivers 1 – 1 5th
Bayelsa. – 4 6 6
Enugu -. 2 1 7
Kaduna -. – 3 8th
Yo. – – 29th
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