Date set for taekwondo extravaganza

 

Mikia Kalati

The second edition of the Korean Ambassador Cup tournament takes place in Maseru on 30 November.

In an interview, the Lesotho Taekwondo Association (LTA) president, Moshoeshoe Mokake, told the Lesotho Times the competition, which was launched last year, is expected to go ahead this time around following its postponement last month due to the country’s political instability prevailing at that time.

The unrest saw nations which had been expected to be part of the event, withdrawing their participation, as they feared for their players’ safety.

“We were supposed to hold the second edition of the competition last month, but had to postpone as other countries withdrew their participation due to the political instability in our country at the time,” Mokake said.

“Taekwondo has been getting a lot of support from the Republic of Korea hence the competition has been named in honour of the country’s ambassador to our country.”

Mokake further said the Republic of Korea has played a massive role in the revival of the sport in Lesotho. Taekwondo was once a dominant sport in Lesotho in the 1990s due to the support of the Koreans, whose coaches would train locals through partnership with the Lesotho Defence Force.

“We had to go back to the drawing board and it was then that we decided to engage the Koreans as well as other stakeholders who were very influential when the sport was doing well way back (in the 1990s) in our country,” said Mokake.

“Through our partnership with the Koreans, we have managed to hold coaching courses for our people, which has helped us produce good taekwondo players once again.

“Last year, we had four southern African countries (Swaziland, Mozambique, Botswana, South Africa) taking part in the Korean Ambassador Cup tournament, including us as the hosts, and we expected the tournament to be bigger this time around. There had been immense interest from West African countries, but that was spoiled by the political instability in our country.”

“However, we believe this competition will continue to help the revival of the sport the way it did last year.”

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