The hope of Nigeria’s Elizabeth Anyanacho picking a medal at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics is over and the 22-year old is understandably pained over the development.
Anyanacho early Monday morning lost to double Olympic medalist and former world champion, Nur Tartar of Turkey. The duo, competing in the female – 67kg, kick-started competition Day 3 for the taekwondo event.
Tartar edged out Anyanacho 12 – 7, using her Olympic and world experience to capitalize on the inexperience of her Nigerian counterpart.
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 initially hoped to be eligible to fight for a conciliatory bronze medal but that has also slipped out of her reach, which makes her very sad.
She said: “I lost to Turkey 7 – 12. Turkey then lost in golden point to the USA after a 1 – 1 draw. This means I am totally out of fighting for a podium place at the Tokyo Olympics.
“I have cried and I still feel hurt because I wanted to spring a good surprise, despite being 4 years early to my original Paris 2024 Olympics.
“It has been quite a journey. Truly, a long and challenging journey with a rollercoaster of emotions.”
While Anyanacho admits the weeks and months ahead will be difficult for her, she has promised to build on her experience in Tokyo for a better show in Paris.
“It will be a difficult few weeks and months ahead of me because I will keep replaying today in my head, and trying to replay all I could have done.”
“But it is OK because the lessons will help my development,” Anyanacho concluded while also expressing appreciation for the constant love, encouragement, and support she has received.
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