After finishing third at the just-concluded African Taekwondo and Para Taekwondo Championships in Morocco, Irene Bagire (inset) says Rwanda can do much better if there were more taekwondo competitions for players to get exposure and experience.
At the continental championships in Morocco, Rwanda had 16 representatives – eleven in the taekwondo competitions and five in Para Taekwondo showpieces, which are designed for players with disabilities.
“We generally did very well as a country in Morocco, all the players performed well. Finishing in third place on the continent is admirable but we could have done better had we had better preparations and involved in competitions to prep-up our inexperienced players.” Bagire said.
In the para taekwondo category, Consolee Rukundo won gold in the T42 set, which also proved to be Rwanda’s only gold medal in the two competitions. Jean Marie Vianney Bizumuremyi and Jean de la Croix Nikwigize claimed bronze medals.
In the taekwondo championship, Rwandans bagged nine medals, all in poomsae categories. Poomsae is a pattern of defence-and-attack motions to demonstrate the techniques and tactics of the sport.
Going into the African championships, Rwanda was ranked in eighth place in Africa and chances are that in the next World Taekwondo Federation’s (WTF) rankings, the country is likely to move up to third on the WFT African rankings.
Meanwhile, the junior taekwondo national team is in Hammamet, Tunisia where six youngsters are vying for honours in qualifiers of the Youth Olympic Games 2018 as well as the WTF World Junior Championships.
The qualifiers are scheduled for April 6-8 while the world championship takes place from April 8 to 13.
The 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games, officially known as the III Summer Youth Olympic Games, will be hosted in Buenos Aires, Argentina from October 6-18.