WTF World Championships: Chukwumerije finishes in top eight
Chika Chukwumerije returned to the top cadre of world taekwondo when the 2008 Beijing Olympics bronze medalist made it to the quarterfinal stage of the ongoing World Championships in Chelyabinsk, Russia, in the men’s +87kg category.
Chukwumerije, who managed to make it to the round of 16 at the last edition of the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) championship, defeated Canada’s Jordan Steward 3-0 to progress to the round of 32, where he battled and defeated 2013 World Championship bronze medalist, Slovakia’s Ivan Trajkovic 7-6.
In the round of 16, he confronted another European Championships silver medalist, Croatia’s Vedran Golec and again the 31-year-old Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO) graduate emerged victorious with a 5-3 win.
In the quarterfinal tie, he was up against his 2012 London Olympics conqueror, Cuba’s Robelis Despaine and the encounter lived up to expectation but the Cuban prevailed at 9-4 to end Chukwumerije medal’s dream.
Chukwumerije’s compatriot, Saturday Martala was unlucky as he fell 15-7 to Kazakhstan’s Smaiyl Duisebay in the men’s -87kg in the first round.