Countries have started arriving in the Rwanda ahead of the second edition of the African Para-Taekwondo Open that gets underway on Friday (March 31) and will run until April 2 at Amahoro Indoor Stadium.
First in the country were Ghana and Comoros that jetted in on Monday. A total of 18 countries including hosts Rwanda have confirmed to participate in the continent’s top competition for athletes with physical impairments that however is open to countries from outside Africa.
Ghana and Comoros are staying at Champion hotel in Remera; and according to Rwanda Taekwondo Federation (RTF) secretary general Placide Bagabo, the other 15 countries were expected to arrive on Wednesday and on Thursday.
“We expect most of the countries to arrive today (Wednesday) while others will jet in on Thursday, which is last arrival day,” said Bagabo.
Results from participants from the African countries will be counted towards the K40 G4 world ranking points while athletes from non-African countries will earn points towards G2 world rankings.
The countries expected to grace the 2017 African Para-Taekwondo Open include; United States of America, Spain, France, Germany, Austria, Uzbekistan, Niger, Mozambique, Serbia, Nigeria, Lesotho, Morocco, DR Congo, Burundi and Ethiopia.
It will be the first time for Rwanda to compete in the Para-Taekwondo Open after winning hosting rights during WTF General Assembly after the World Junior Taekwondo Championship in November last year, in Canada.
In January 2016, the International Paralympics Committee (IPC) announced that taekwondo will make a historic debut at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics Games.
Therefore, African teams including Rwanda will be looking to use the Para-Taekwondo Open as part of preparations for the Olympic qualifiers.