In Chungju, South Korea
Kenya bagged two gold and two bronze medals during the first day of the 2019 World Martial Arts Mastership Championship here at the Korea National University of Transport on Thursday.
Kenya collected its first gold medal in the men’s sparring +90kg where Gordon Ochieng managed to register a narrow 3-2 victory over Korea’s Ki Hoon Lee as Lona Apiyo Abiero won the women’s -65kg category by beating Nattakarn Khamsopmpond of Thailand 5-4.
Peter James Njuguna gave Kenya the bronze medal in the men’s sparring -90kg event when he lost his semi-final contest against the eventual winner, Iran’s Mohammadreza Dolatiyan 7-3.
The other bronze medal winner was Patricia Lucky in the women’s sparring -50kg event, who lost her semi-final clash to Unjung Ai Moonville Estarabela of Phillipines 8-0.
Ochieng said he trained hard for the championship and was motivated by President Uhuru Kenyatta when the team visited State House.
“I slept very late on Wednesday night and woke up early morning of the event day on Thursday thinking on how I’ll make sure I give my fellow Kenyans back home a gold medal,” he said.
Twenty six-year-old Lona Apiyo Abiero said she didn't give up even falling behind 3-1 at one stage.
“I’m so happy to have won my country a gold medal and I’m sure we’ll finish this championship in a respectable position. I was thinking of making 40 million Kenyans back home happy,” she said.
Kenya’s Salma Ali Abdalla, 21, qualified for the women’s individual forms event when she secured 8.77 points against Parichat Sungpankhao who garnered 8.5 points.
June Su Juma was the other Kenyan in action and he qualified for the quarter final when he got 9.57 points against 9.63 points of Nepal’s Prakash Shreshta.