Addis Ababa, Ethiopia ( The Reporter) – Ethiopian Taekwondo Association (ETA) is hosting the first open taekwondo tournament in both sexes in which participants from five countries are taking part including the host.
The tournament will be used as an opportunity to select a taekwondo team which will represent Ethiopia in the 2016 Summer Olympics which will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Over 450 participants from Ethiopia, US, India, Kenya and England are taking part in the tournament which will take place today and tomorrow at the Ethiopian Youth Academy at Arat Kilo Sports Center. Competitors from Nigeria and South Africa failed to take part in the open taekwondo tournament due to visa issues, according to the association.
One team can have as much as 40 competitors from the age of 14 to 32 who also should meet belt and weight requirements.
Meanwhile, On Friday team USA participants have donated 60 thousands birr worth equipments to the Ethiopian Taekwondo Association.
“We brought some training materials from USA students. We like to come here more often to help, train and compete with each other,” Emanda Forbin, USA open taekwondo member, told The Reporter.
International taekwondo in Ethiopia was mainly practiced by not more than 50 members of the police force some 20 years ago and there were only three civilian taekwondo instructors in the country. But, currently there are more than 15,000 taekwondo practitioners and over 150 instructors in Ethiopia.
“This tournament has a great value for Ethiopian taekwondo competitors as it will help them develop their experience for international tournaments. We have competitions in the coming year in England and Brazil,” Kiros Gebremeskel, ETA president and taekwondo master, told The Reporter.
Kiros is one of the recognized taekwondo masters in Africa with a seventh Dan Degree Black Belt from the International Taekwondo Federation and third Dan from World Taekwondo Federation and with over 25 years teaching experience and champion of the national taekwondo completion 11 years ago.
Source: The Reporter