Nigerian athlete Aminat Idrees has taken a gold medal at the National Sports Festival held in her home country, dominating in the mixed poomsae category in taekwondo while being heavily pregnant.
The 26-year-old took part in the biennial multi-sport event despite being at an advance stage of her pregnancy.
“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,” Idrees said after the competition.
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
“Before I got pregnant, I had always enjoyed training, so it didn’t seem different with pregnancy,” she added.
A video of the visibly pregnant competitor was shared online, triggering mixed reactions on social media, with some critics suggesting the woman shouldn’t have competed due to her condition.
The expectant mother responded to online criticism saying she didn’t put her baby at risk by showing her skills at the competition.
“A lot of people don’t understand what Taekwondo is actually about,” she added.
“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 a Poomsae event.
“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 champion recalled.