A noticeably pregnant Nigerian woman has nabbed a Taekwondo gold medal at the ongoing biennial National Sports Festival. Aminat Idrees trained for months before the multi-sport event and she was not going to let her current condition stop her from participating in the event after being cleared by her doctor.
Footage of the 26-year-old beautifully executing different combat techniques in Poomsae, the non-combat form of Taekwondo, was shared on Twitter. Idrees won gold for the Mixed Poomsae category and took home medals from other Poomsae categories.
As part of Team Lagos, and this being the first time the team won gold, Idrees was one of the leading medalists at the sports festival. Apart from winning gold in the Mixed Poomsae category, she also took home silver in the female team Poomsae category and won an individual bronze medal in the same category.
Idrees said being able to participate in the competition was a “privilege.” “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,” she said.
“Before I got pregnant, I have always enjoyed the training, so it didn’t seem different with pregnancy,” Idrees added.
The organizers of the National Sports Festival taking place in Edo State were elated by her performance and described her win as “inspiring”. However, some Twitter users criticized her for endangering the life of her unborn child.
One user said, “If you are seeing this and you going about how strong a woman is, you are a fool The organizers that allowed this to happen are mad The woman herself is mad and she needs someone to tell her What in f**s name is she trying to prove There is breaking the barrier and then stupidity.”
Another said, “This rather Sickening than Inspiring.”
But some jumped to her defense and attempted to explain the category of sport in which she participated in. Idrees explained she got clearance from her doctor as well as the organizing body of the games which certified her fit to participate in the sport.
She told CNN that many people have a misconception about the sport, adding that this is the right time to educate people on Taekwondo. “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 the Poomsae event,” she said.