National Athlete Paul Kolade, won the only goal medal for host Kebbi State in the Kyeorugi event at the just concluded Kebbi Taekwondo Open, he defeated fellow national athlete Peter Itiku of Team CCSF.
The competitive bout matched a constantly attacking Itiku, who was the number one seed, with the defense and counter attacking Kolade, who was the number two seed.
Backed by a large and screaming home crowd, the 32-year-old Kolade raced to a 2 – 0 lead in the opening seconds of the match and maintained the lead through experienced defending and eventually closed out the match 10 – 7, despite constant attack from Itiku, who had won the Gold at the Korean Ambassador Cup and the MVP award.
After huge anxiety at the lack of any gold medals for the host state on the penultimate day, the Kolade victory at the tournaments last match threw the Kebbi fans into a wide frenzy as they rushed into the mat, singing songs in local dialect, beating drums and lifting up their local hero.
Speaking to the NTF Media correspondence desk, Kolade admitted the pressure of competing at home went alongside the advantage of having a home crowd.
Speaking to the Media, Kolade admitted the pressure of competing at home went alongside the advantage of having a home crowd.
“I did not start with a 100% focus and that allowed my opponent get in points quickly and I attacked hard to recover but his defense was really good in this match. I am happy that I stuck to our attacking philosophy which we keep developing week after week. I will keep working hard to improve and I congratulate my opponent and teammate for his well-deserved victory in this event”.
The duo will certainly meet during the season-ending best-of-the-best championships to hold in FCT Abuja between 12 – 14 December 2019.