Anyanacho heads to Beirut for last event before Tokyo Olympics

Tokyo Olympics-bound Elizabeth Anyancho has departed for Lebanon to participate in the World Taekwondo G-2 ranked Beirut Open, scheduled to hold 19 to 21 June, 2021 at the Stade Nouhad Naufal, in Beirut, Lebanon.

The ranked event is the last competitive event on the World Taekwondo calendar before the Olympic games kicks off in July.

The 22-year-old Elizabeth, who is travelling with her technical crew aboard Ethiopia airlines, will be competing in the female -67kg category.

Eleven fighters are registered to participate in the same category, including three other qualified athletes to Tokyo Olympics – former world champion, Ruth Gbagbi of Cote D’Ivoire, current African champion Hedaya Malak of Egypt and Julyana Al-Sadeq of Jordan.

Elizabeth has defeated the African Champion, Egypt’s Hedaya, at the semi-finals of the African Taekwondo Champs in Dakar a fortnight ago, before narrowly losing to the former world champion, Ruth Gbagbi in the finals of the same event.

Speaking before departure, Anyanacho said, “I have constantly improved over the past months as the Olympic got closer, and I am going to Beirut to execute the moves we have worked so hard on during training. The matches will be tough but I am ready for the challenge.”

Ranking earned at the Beirut open might include the draws that will take place at the Tokyo Olympics, given that 100% seeding will be deployed at the much-anticipated Games.

The event is being funded by the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports as one of the preparatory events of Elizabeth Anyanacho, Nigeria’s first woman in 16 years to qualify for the Olympics in Taekwondo.