Taekwondo:Team Rwanda starts quest for medals at World Champs

L-R: Vincent Munyakazi, Benoit Kayitare and Jean Paul Sekanyambo are representing Rwanda at the 2019 World Taekwondo Championships in Manchester, England. Courtesy.

Jean Paul Sekanyambo, one of the three Rwandan players representing the country at this year’s World Taekwondo Championships, will be in action Wednesday.

The world class showpiece starts today and will run through May 19 at the iconic Manchester Arena in England. It will feature seven mats, allowing the tournament to be compressed down to just five action-packed days.

In a telephone interview with Times Sport from England on Tuesday, Sekanyambo said that he was yet to know who he would meet in the first round, but was fit and ready for any opponent.

“I’m ready to face anyone with optimism for the second round and the stage after, one match at a time,” Sekanyambo said.

He added: “We have had good preparations and warm-up competitions. We hope this is the year one of us (Rwandans) wins a medal in world championships.”

The Rwandan trio of, Benoit Kayitare (U-54 weight category), Vincent Munyakazi (in the under-68kg section) and Jean Paul Sekanyambo (-58kg), and their coach Alain Irené Bagire, left the country on Saturday night and have since been doing light training and acclimating in Manchester.

Around 1,000 athletes from 150 countries and one refugee team that’s participating under the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) flag will be competing in 16 weight categories – eight in men, eight in women.

And with 2019 being a pre-Olympic year, the battles in Manchester will offer taekwondo fans a preview ahead of Tokyo 2020.



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