MASERU — Lesotho will hold its first national taekwondo championship next month in preparation for a regional tournament.
Teams from all over Lesotho are expected to take part in the national championship scheduled for January 8 at Sefika High School in Maseru.
Both male and female national teams will be selected at the tournament to represent Lesotho at the Confederation of Southern Africa Taekwondo Associations (Cosata) Zone VI Games set for Mozambique in February.
Lesotho are the defending champions in both male and female categories of the Cosata championship, held every two years.
Mojapela ‘Mefane, spokesperson of the Lesotho Taekwondo Association, said the national tournament would prepare local fighters for the regional championship.
“The sole purpose of this tournament is to ensure that fighters are exposed to international taekwondo standards before we go to Mozambique at the end of February,” he told the Lesotho Times.
“We will also be doing a final selection of the national team that will be representing the country at next year’s Cosata Zone VI games,” he said.
Two preliminary selections, with the last held on December 4 at Sefika High School, have already taken place.
“We are the defending champions in both male and female category hence all the intensive training we are conducting ahead of these games,” ‘Mefane said.
“This time it will be tougher to defend our title because every country will be going there with the intention of defeating us.”
He said the fighters who will be selected after next month’s tournament will immediately go to a training camp.
“We have planned that immediately after final selection, the fighters will go under intensive training which is scheduled to start by the end of January,” he said.