World Taekwondo (WT) has selected Nigeria’s referee, Thursdaline Peter, and 9 others from Africa from the selection and training camp for the Paris 2024 Olympics.
Peter made the top 60 selections from 270 referees invited to the 2024 Olympic Games camp across the continents.
The last selection phase for the final 26 referees will be based on evaluation from the upcoming competitions like World Championships (WT), WT Grand Prix, and Grand Slams.
Thursdaline Peter who is a World Taekwondo 2nd class referee has attended four referee refresher courses (2 online and 2 offline) including the Camp training with the application of the new rules since 2022.
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Since the inception of Taekwondo at the Olympic Games, no Nigerian referee has officiated and Thursdaline Peter is on the verge of rewriting history.
www.aclsports.com caught up with the Nigeria Taekwondo Referee to share her experience since she started the journey to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
Aclsports: How do you feel being amongst the 10 Referees selected for the Training camp ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympics?
TP: I feel elated and I had a strong belief that I was going to be selected.
Aclsports: How was the journey to the selection and what were the hurdles faced?
TP: The journey was not as difficult as I thought as much as it was not as easy either.
I didn’t believe I was going to make it to the camp due to visa processing and the time limit. I was too relaxed to think that the embassy was in Lagos and easy only to discover about a week before my trip that it was in Abuja.
The next battle was finding the cheapest ticket as all expenses on this trip were solely on me. I settled for the last space on a flight with a huge sum (cause I was so bent on making this trip); it was my opportunity. The cashless policies also affected a lot. I then flew down to Lagos again and travelled on the same day; it was mentally, physically, and financially draining having to do it all by myself.
It was overwhelming with so much tension but alas, I came through.
Aclsports: Do you see yourself at the Paris 2024 Olympics with your performances at various International Championships?
TP: First of all, I believe I can make the Paris 2024 Olympic Games final selection by the grace of God and with the support of my Federation (Nigeria Taekwondo Federation) and the Ministry of Sport. This is representing my country and it will be great to have a Nigerian as one of the best referees in the world to officiate at the Olympics.
My chances are great but also dependent on the support of these two offices and others as I await a list of about 3 to 5 competitions (different countries) to be attended for referee evaluations. We cannot afford to lose this chance.
Aclsports: How have you been able to execute these international championships?
TP: Hmmm; It has always been self-sponsored with the help of a few friends and family. I have done myself and Nigeria well to raise our flag high. Now is the time to keep flying.
Aclsports: Your final words to Nigerians and the Taekwondo community.
TP: For every day strive to learn and grow, find a niche, and groom it passionately. Never underestimate the power of consistency and erase all forms of distractions regardless of the challenges in your pursuit, in the end, it will yield a well-deserved result.