Rwanda national taekwondo team dominated the just concluded third edition of the Gorilla Open taekwondo championships held over the weekend at Petit Stade in Remera.
The hosts clinched 16 gold medals, one short of the entire package on offer at the regional event that attracted teams from neighbouring Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo and United States of America.
Rwanda’s Savio Nizeyimana, who claimed gold in the men’s under-68kg category, was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the two-day competition that attracted 90 competitors.
Uganda’s Oswald Ochira defeated Arthur Rukundo of Rwanda in the junior boys’ U-45kg to earn their only gold medal with the hosts claiming the other 16 in all age and weight categories.
Rwanda scooped the best team award while Uganda claimed the fair-play trophy.
According to the Rwandan captain Placide Bagabo, the competition also served as a training platform for seven Rwandans who will represent the country at the forthcoming Dutch Open taekwondo championships slated for March 13-15 in Eindhoven, Netherlands.
Bagabo further added that, “We want to turn Rwanda into a taekwondo powerhouse.”
Rwanda is ranked sixth in Africa and Bagabo revealed that their aim is to make it to the top three sooner than later.