Jasiri in pole position to retain Mombasa Open title

Participants display Taekwondo skills during 11th Mombasa open Tong-IL-Moo-Do international Martials arts championship held at Aga Khan Academy in Mombasa.[Omondi Onyango,Standard]

National team Jasiri is on the verge of retaining the Mombasa Open Tong-Il-Moo-Do International Championship for the 11th year in a row at the Aga Khan Academy Mombasa.

The three-day event that concludes today has attracted over 15 countries including record champions Kenya, Philippines, South Korea, Japan, Paraguay, Zambia, Nigeria and DRC.

The competition kicked off on Sunday night with a pre-recorded opening ceremony speech by the founder of this unified form of martial arts, Rev Sun Myung Moon before a number of junior Kenyans entertained the crowd in the form competition, involving choreographed sequences of movements.

Rev Moon said: “It gives me much pleasure to join you for this edition of the Mombasa Open Tong Il Moo Do Championships. I wish all the participants a wonderful experience as they compete with each other.”

Joseph Daud (9.00 points), Trevor Wanjiku (8.60 points) and Mohammed Shaban (8.90 points) were among the best Kenyan youngsters who starred on Day One.

Others who were in action in the opening day included Jambia Ali (6.30 points), Harrington Wanjala (5.80 points) and Sudi Mohammed (5.00 points).

But the proper competition started yesterday evening with the sparring contest between different age categories at the same venue.

Despite facing a few setbacks that saw the event’s kickoff date rescheduled from Friday to Sunday, Kenya Tong Il Moo Do Federation president Clarence Mwakio is so far pleased with the progress of the event.

“Though we had a few challenges before the beginning of the event, the organisation of the tournament has been perfect attracting almost fifteen teams, and we are confident of pulling off a successfully tournament. We are grateful to the Ministry of Sports for ensuring the tournament is held to its conclusion,” Mwakio said.

“Many teams performed well in Day One’s forms competition, which was testing the qualities of teams in training and basing of sparring. It’s very competitive for juniors’ category, however, there’s need for young players to get more classes to polish their skills.

“Real action started yesterday, but today will be a proper event in the senior teams’ spurring contest. With teams like Philippines, Kenya, Zambia and South Korea around, be ready for fireworks in the adults’ event. We expect teams like Iran, and Zambia to renew their rivalry after last year’s clash. But Kenya started off very well and I'm confident we will defend the title."

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