Defending champions Kenya made a slow start in the sixth edition of the Mombasa Open Tong-IL Moo-Do International Martial Arts Championship at Aga Khan Academy on Saturday.
It was Philippines, who took an early lead in the senior over 18 year-old adult males' individual forms category, as the championship started with a good crowd.
Mharjudi Delos Santos of Philippines beat 27 other competitors by collecting 8.9 points to win the first gold in the championship with the silver medal going to his countryman Geovane Gella who managed 8.6 points.
Ogene Ifenaji of Nigeria became the first competitor from Africa to win a medal (silver) after bagging 8.55 points.
The fourth place went to Thailand’s Tongjaruen Meerboon with 8.45 points and Philippines’ Riverz Pesayo finishing fifth having 8.250.
Abubakar Mwaisangu was Kenya’s top placed participant, when he claimed sixth position after getting 8.25 points with his team mate Tom Kabochi clinching seventh place after bagging 8.2 points.
Zambia’s Michael Deong Zulie was eighth (8.2), with Kenya captain Elvis Malipe taking ninth spot (8.15), while another Kenyan Junso Jo Juma finishing among the top 10 (8.15).
In attendance during the first day of the annual championship was the World Tong-IL Moo-Do Federation founder grandmaster Dr Joon Ho Seuk, Kenya Academy of Sports chief executive officer Gordon Oluoch.
The championship is expected to end on Sunday.