An Ethiopian in International Taekwondo

Elias Kumel (photo: The Reporter)

It was back in 1966 that the International Taekwon-Do Federation was first founded by Choi Hong hi. After the Southern Korean government abandoned the ITF, the government established the World Taekwondo Federation to continue the mission of taekwondo globalization. Since then,the sport has become popular all over the world. Instructor Elias Kumel was born in Addis Ababa and he started taekwondo in 2001 for the first time after joining at a young age.He has competed in several competitions at both local and international levels representing Ethiopia with the help of Ethiopia International Taekwondo Association (EITA). He has 17 medals in total, with the two gold medals achieved in the African championships. Meanwhile, since 2013, the association managed to participate in the World Cup and Elias was capable to compete in this international competition alongside other Ethiopian professionals. A month ago, Elias was invited to the international Marshal Arts Festival which was held in Florida,USA and become a silver medalist participating in two categories. Dawit Tolesa of The Reporter sat down with Elias Kumel to discuss about his career. Excerpts:

The Reporter:  Tell us about your first participation in various competitions?

Elias: Well, there were different Taekwondo competitions in Addis Ababa and its regions held by the Ethiopian International Taekwondo Association. During my young age, I had a chance to watch these competitions and in 2004, I competed in the Addis Ababa club championships. After my debut competition,I have achieved several medals in all local tournaments. Following the resignation of my former instructor in 2008, I took a responsibility to manage Choi Hong Hi taekwondo club and since then, I have been working as an instructor. So, my good performances helped me to participate in international competitions across the world.

Read more at: The Reporter