The 2018 taekwondo memorial tournament will attract at least 100 participants, Times Sport has learned. The competition is held in honour of the memory of the over one million lives lost during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
The one-day tournament will be contested by taekwondo players from Kenya, Uganda and hosts Rwanda. According to Rwanda Taekwondo Federation officials, the tentative date for the competition is June 9, but this is subject to approval by the National Olympic and Sports Committee.
Rwanda Taekwondo Federation’s head of competitions, Regis Iyumva, said he expected this year’s tournament to be more competitive and better organised than the previous editions.
“This competition has been getting better with each passing year. Teams and players at individual level should expect a tough competition as it will also attract foreign participants,” the former national team captain said.
The 5th Taekwondo Memorial Tournament will have two categories, senior men and women. There will be no junior category.
Taekwondo is one of the sporting disciplines that were introduced in the country after the Genocide. Competitive taekwondo was initiated in the country in 2006 but it was not until 2011 that the Ministry of Sports officially recognized it.
Rwanda is the top ranked nation in the region while it is in eighth position on the continent behind Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Gabon, Morocco, Ivory Coast and Senegal.
Youngsters fail qualification for Olympics
In the meantime, none of Rwandan youngsters managed to qualify for this year’s Youth Olympic Games scheduled for October 6-18 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
At the African qualifiers for the Youth Olympics last week in Hammamet, Tunisia, Rwanda was represented by six players – three males and three females.
The youngsters are now participating at the WTF Junior World Taekwondo Championships in Tunisia, running from April 8 through April 13.
No Rwandan taekwondo player has ever been able to compete in any