Jasiri ready to defend title as Mombasa Open finally start

Bumtto Nisubire of Dukes Sasamoto Club (left) fights with Mohamed Yahya of Kenya during the 2021 edition of Mombasa Open International Tong Il Moo Do championship at Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa. [Omondi Onyango,Standard]

National team Jasiri is set to spin back to centre circle as they seek to defend the Mombasa Open International Tong Il Moo Do championship title for the 11th year in a row.

Speaking at the team's training camp at the Light International Academy Mombasa, team captain Elvis Malipe said the Kenya Tong Il Moo Do Federation has assembled a strong team and they are more than ready for the task ahead.

"The stage is set for the Kenyan athletes to kick and punch their way to victory. We have the techniques that include the speed kicks and blows to retain the title," Malipe.

"We remain unbowed in our preparations as we cannot afford to let the title out of our shelves.”

Kenya have won 10 of the past 11 editions of the tournament with the latest being in 2022 when they bagged with 46 gold, 54 silver and 18 bronze to top the medal standings.

The federation president Master Clarence Mwakio yesterday assured that the tournament will go on as planned. He thanked Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba for facilitating the disbursement of funds.  

"We are now on the right path. We had a meeting with the Cabinet Secretary for Sports Ababu Namwamba and assured us all the needed support. The government has expedited the funds transfer to finalise all preparations," said Mwakio after the meeting in Nairobi.

Mwakio said 22 foreign teams will participate in the two-day championship that conclude tomorrow at the Aga Khan Academy Mombasa.

World Tong Il Moo Do Federation President Takamitsu Hoshiko hailed the Kenyan government for supporting the growth of the martial arts sport.

"It has not been easy to get support from government to support Tong Il Moo Do but as world body, we appreciate the Kenyan government for the overwhelming support it has accorded the Kenyan federation," said Hoshiko.

The event was scheduled to start on Friday but was pushed to today to give the government more time to release the funds from the Ministry of Sports.

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