By Oratile Otsetswe
Three local taekwondo teams combined to scoop a staggering 29 medals in the just ended Korean Ambassador’s Cup Taekwondo Championship 2018 which was held in Pretoria, South Africa over the weekend.
The three teams, being Miracles Taekwondo Club (MTC), Club 360 and Taung Primary Schools Club walked away with six gold medals, 10 silver medals and 13 bronze medals.
The medal haul represented a good return for the local teams, who had combined to form a team of 31 athletes comprising of 1 junior and 31 young athlete. MTC was made up of 13 athletes, Club 360 had nine players and 8 players for Taung Primary School.
All athletes in the championship competed in sparring instead of playing in the usual three events of taekwondo which are; Kyorugi (sparring), Kyogpa (breaking) and Poomase (kata).The championship was open for Under 18 children, juniors between 14 to 18 years and seniors from ages 19 years and above.
Speaking in an interview, MTC coach Ali Madome explained that they received an invitation to compete at the mentioned event but they had no sponsor so they decided to join forces as clubs to form one team.
He noted that due to lack of funds the whole trip was self-sponsored by athletes, and their parents had to pay for the registration fee, meals and the trip.
“We selected the best students to participate and they represented well because only two of our athletes did not receive the medals. I am proud of the team because most of them started playing taekwondo this year and this was their first international tournament but they managed to pocket some medals,” Madome said.
“It makes it easier for coaches to train athletes based on how they performed with more experienced international players to improve their skills and tactics,” he explained
Madome added that the players were ready for the competition since they had been on an extensive training for three months.
A special mention from the coach went to MTC, which is said has grown tremendously over a short period of time.
“MTC is a new club which was formed this year so it is very impressive to see the outstanding performance the athletes showcased,” he said.