Nigerian athlete Aminat Idrees won the gold medal in Taekwondo at the National Sports Festival this week — and she did so while eight months pregnant, according to CNN.
The 26-year-old managed to win the Mixed Poomsae category of the Taekwondo section of the event, which is held every two years.
Organizers of the National Sports Festival called Idrees “inspiring” in interviews with CNN.
“It’s such a privilege for me. I just decided to give it a try after training a couple of times… It feels really good. Before I got pregnant, I have always enjoyed training, so it didn’t seem different with pregnancy,” Idrees told CNN.
Idrees also won other events, including a silver medal in the female team Poomsae category and an individual bronze in the same category, making her one of the leading medalists at the festival, according to the National Sports Festival.
Punch, a Nigerian outlet, reported that Idrees is from Lagos and that the event was in Edo on Tuesday. The Gold medal Idrees won was the first for Lagos state.
“A lot of people don’t understand what Taekwondo is actually about. I feel this is an avenue to educate people about this. Taekwondo has two branches: the combat sport and Poomsae — which is a form of exercise…just displaying the hand and leg techniques in Taekwondo. I participated in Poomsae event,” she said in an interview with CNN.
An inspiring outing by heavily pregnant Aminat Idrees who won a gold medal for Lagos at the ongoing National Sports Festival in Benin, Edo State.
Aminat Idrees who is 8 months pregnant won gold in the Mixed Poomsae category in Taekwondo pic.twitter.com/rr4fxJCfMs
— National Sports Festival 2020 (@nsf_edo) April 5, 2021
While some online made negative comments about her participation in the event, she and the event’s organizers shot them down.
Philip Shaibu, chairman of the organizing committee of this year’s National Sports Festival, said in a statement to CNN that Idrees underwent a medical exam before the event to confirm she could participate.
“She was certified and cleared to participate. She had also been training for months prior to her participation in the tournament,” Shaibu said.
“I felt there wasn’t much risk attached to it, so I decided to give it a try. My doctor, as well as the organizing body of the games certified me fit to participate in the non-contact sport,” the expectant mother added.”I felt there wasn’t much risk attached to it, so I decided to give it a try. My doctor, as well as the organizing body of the games certified me fit to participate in the non-contact sport,” she added.