Mombasa Open International tournament kickoff postponed

President Kenya Tong lL Moo Do Federation Clarence Mwakio (second left) and President of World Tong IL Do Federations Hoshiko Takamistu (left) lead participants from different countries in a past training session at North Coast Beach in Mombasa.[Omondi Onyango,Standard]

The Mombasa Open International Tong Il Moo Do championship that was to start on Friday has been pushed to Sunday at the Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa.

The tournament that was to take three days will last for two days.

This was due to the delay by the government in expediting funding for the championship.

Kenya Tong Il Moo Do Federation had earlier urged the government to act swiftly in supporting the event, which had initially attracted 42 foreign teams.

However, according to the president of the Kenya Tong-Il Moo-Do Federation Clarence Mwakio the event will now have 22 teams.

Kenya will face stiff competition from other 21 competitors including Congo DRC, Congo Brazzaville, Central Africa Republic, Burkina Faso, Angola, Zambia, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Cote D'Ivoire, Brazil, Paraguay, Iran, Turkey, India, Korea, Japan, Philippines, Nepal, Thailand, Oman and Vanuatu

Japan, India and Paraguay checked in their Mombasa hotels yesterday, while other foreign teams are expected to arrive in the country today.

The Kenya Tong-IL Moodo Federation had appealed to the government to expedite funding for the 11th edition of the Mombasa Open Championship competition in good time.

Mwakio said preparations have been in the top-notch to ensure the event succeeded.

"All the arrangements have been completed and we are set to go," said Mwakio

"We look forward to an exciting competition. Japan, India and Paraguay have already arrived, the rest of teams are expected to be in Mombasa by noon (today)."

Kenya's team captain Elvis Malipe speaking from the team's training base at the Mombasa Light International Academy said the team is ready for the task ahead.

"We shall not underrate our opponents at all. They are well prepared to wrestle the title from us," said the captain.

Jacqueline Muli, who has been out of action since last year due to a nagging knee injury said Kenyan players have been more aggressive every single year.

"We are not ready to let the overall title get out of the country," said Muli who was co-opted as one of the trainers.

Muli said World gold medallist Lorna Abiero will lead a record 74 Kenyan female athletes in medal haunt.

Abiero won two gold medals during the 2019 World Martial Arts championship in Chung  Ju, South Korea.

"We are excited to see 74 Kenyan female athletes in action. This is a clear indication that the sport has been growing rapidly in the country," said Muli.

Kenya won a total of 185 medals; 46 gold, 54 silver and 18 bronze during last year's event.

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