Aminat Idrees, a 26-year-old Nigerian Taekwondo athlete, won gold at the 2020 National Sports Festival in Nigeria. What is fascinating about her story, however, is that she achieved her feat while eight months pregnant.
Idrees, on April 5, 2021, won in the Mixed Poomsae category in Taekwondo. She also won the silver medal in the female team Poomsae category, and an individual bronze medal in the same category making her one of the leading medalists at the festival.
In a video posted by the official Twitter account of the organisers of the multi-sport event, Idrees is seen demonstrating different combat techniques.
Revealing why she participated in the competition while pregnant, Idrees indicated that she had been training before she got pregnant and continued when she became pregnant because the experience didn’t feel different.
“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,” she said.
Idrees further stated that her doctor and the organisers of the event certified her fit to participate in the competition.
“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.”
Even though her accomplishment is praiseworthy, she has been criticised by some people who feel she could have endangered the life of her unborn child. But Idrees has defended her decision, adding that her critics are ignorant of the various forms of Taekwondo.
“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 told CNN.