Friday,26 April, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1429, (7 - 13 February 2019)
Friday,26 April, 2019
Issue 1429, (7 - 13 February 2019)

Ahram Weekly

Debut host

African Para Taekwondo is coming to Egypt for the first time, reports Abeer Anwar


Hedaya Malak
Hedaya Malak

Twenty-eight countries will participate in the 2019 African Para Taekwondo Open Championship to be hosted on 20 February in Hurghada, Egypt.

Although it is the fourth edition of the championship, it is the first to be hosted by Egypt thanks in part to Ahmed Al-Fouli, vice-president of the World Federation (WF) and head of the African Taekwondo Federation.

“Egypt is the land of great civilisations and always welcomes such international events with open arms and through which it sends a message to the whole world that it is the land of peace and inclusion,” Al-Fouli said. “Everyone is interested to come and visit Egypt. Although it is our first time to host the championship, I am sure it will be the best one.”

Athletes numbering 120 from five continents will compete in the one-day event. Ten countries will represent Africa: Morocco, Senegal, Niger, Cameroon, Tunisia, Rwanda, Central Africa, Congo, Uganda and Egypt, the host.

Denmark, France, Spain, Turkey, Russia, Britain, Ukraine, Serbia, Italy, Croatia, Poland and Finland represent Europe.

Jordan, Japan, the United Arab Emirates and Kazakhstan are representing Asia while the US and Brazil will represent North and South America.

The African Championship comes just 19 months before Para Taekwondo, an adaptation of the sport of taekwondo for athletes with an impairment, makes its Paralympic debut in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. “The African Para Taekwondo championship is attracting a great number of athletes due to the fact that they are getting ready to collect valuable ranking points,” Al-Fouli said.

Al-Fouli added that a number of world champions will compete in the event after playing in the World Championship in Turkey last week. He said Minister of Youth and Sports Ashraf Sobhi would attend the event as this year Egypt is head of the African Federation and after Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi recently declared Aswan the capital of African youth in 2019. Al-Fouli thanked the sponsors of the event “for making the dream a reality”.

In taekwondo, Egyptian Hedaya Malak took the gold medal in the -67kg category at the Cyprus International Championship after beating Costa Rica’s opponent 10-1.

Malak won her first match against Greece 3-3 in the preliminaries, then overcame her Greek opponent again in the semis 13-4.

The medal is a strong start for the Egyptian at the opening of an important season of Olympic qualification. She seeks to improve her Olympic rankings in order to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Malak is currently preparing for the Egyptian International Championship, scheduled in Hurghada from 21 to 24 February.

Meanwhile, teammate Abdel-Rahman Wael claimed the silver medal in the -68kg category at Al-Fogeira International Championship in the UAE.

Wael started his run by winning the 16th round against Cameroon, the eighth round against Kazakhstan, then defeating his American opponent in the semi-finals before collecting the silver in the final against Kazakhstan.

The player is now readying for the Egyptian International Championship in Hurghada.

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