It was two days of kicking for points and glory, amidst cheers from the beginning till the last gold medal was grabbed in the Kyorugi seniors, juniors, cadet and para during the First Diaspora Open Taekwondo Championships.
Fans and lovers of the combat sport were as well thrilled with the wonderful movements of the team poomsae and exceptional individual freestyle poomsae. The Korea Sports Complex was filled with lots of attentions and eye-catching movements from poomsae on the final day, August 19, 2023.
With over 200 athletes from Ghana, Niger, Ivory Coast and Nigeria participating, the Hall was filled with parents (some coming from Ashanti region), friends and loved ones of the athletes, especially the cadet, who came to cheer their wards to victory.
Notable among the winners was Joel Amanor who won gold medal in the Poomsae freestyle.
Henrietta Armah, one of Ghana’s torchbearers, was adjudged the best athlete after winning gold in her seniors’ category. St Mary’s International School in Ashaiman was the club with most participants and the best club was Integrete Taekwondo Club from Niger. All had a rebate of their registration fee and 5 free registrations for the Diaspora Open.
The toughest weight category saw Mohammed Sherif who defeated Prince Marvin Klutse going all the way to see off Lawrence Tweasam in an entertaining final to win gold medal in the -68kg.
Zeinab Hamadataher from Niger wowed the organisers in the -49Kg, having won silver medal after losing to Henrietta Armah and was given a sport wrist watch. She shared few words.
“I am very happy, I am proud of myself because I fought, giving all out and I feel happy. I know I deserve this position. The championship went on very well. I traveled and acquired new experiences. I have seen so many things and discovered a lot of things and that means a lot to me.”
It got more interesting when 40-year-old Zeina Adamu won bronze medal in the seniors -65Kg category and she was presented with a sport wrist watch by Master Cromwell. She shared few words about her Taekwondo life from the Komfo Anokye Taekwondo Club.
“I have been in Taekwondo for 30 years and I am happy to have won this prize. I love the sport and so all my six children are in Taekwondo. In 1998, I won my first gold medal at my first competition and I was motivated to continue Taekwondo.”
Aburi Girls Taekwondo Club is gradually making their way into stardom, as three (3) students, Woyram Aseye Kwawukume (-63Kg), Woye Nana Boison (+65) and Pamela Gumah (+65) grabbed bronze, bronze and gold medals respectively.
Pamela was adjudged the best female athlete in the Juniors category and she was proud of her achievement.
“I feel good winning the gold medal, it actually feels nice and I trained hard for this so I deserve it. This championship has been a good one and an eye opener, and I believe it can improve next year.”
President of the Diasporans, who happens to be the Vice President of the Ghana Taekwondo Federation, Charles Tsibo Cromwell says, next year will be exceptional, recounting the challenges encountered.
“Putting this championship together was very challenging, but then by the help of the ex-practitioners, we were able to organize some resources and utilized to put this together, so it was a bit challenging but with support from friends, we overcame it. We had another issue of some of the gifts we wanted to give to the athletes and this has given me some sort of strength and so next year’s edition is going to be exceptional and one of its kind. So, I will still invite all the participants to come in a great style and I believe things are going to be different. Our PSS will work well, and so we will have a free and sound championships.”
“I was thrilled by the young ones and the upcoming talents; it was so nice to watch. I least expected to have seen great little charms and the adults as well. So, this gives me much hope in the upcoming African Games, and I believe Ghana will bring a lot of medals as far as Taekwondo is concerned to raise the flag.” He added
President of the Ghana Taekwondo Federation, Frederick Lartey Otu was there to welcome the officials and shared few words of encouragement and advice to them.
The event also had in attendance, captain Abban of Xtkd, and other diasporans from Italy, Alex Normey.
The championship has added to the Korean Ambassadors Cup that was held in July and given athletes further toughening for the African games and other championships.
By: Davis Nii Attuquaye Clottey