Kenya will be represented by a team of 35 in the second Chungju World Martial Arts Masterships Championship in Korea from August 24 to September 7.
This year's tournament, themed ‘Beyond the times, Bridge the world’, is focusing on comprehensive martial arts competition with peace and harmony propagated in the world. It will be held at Chungju World Martial Arts Park in Korea.
Speaking at a press conference in Mombasa on Saturday, the Kenya Tong-IL Moo-Do Federation president Clarence Mwakio Ingwala said the Kenyan team will be taking part for the second time in the biannual event after bagging eight medals in the inaugural 2016 edition.
“In our first outing, we managed to collect one gold, two silver and five bronze medals, ranking the third best country in the world behind Iran and the Philippines in martial arts,” said Ingalwa.
He said the team has been boosted by sponsorship from Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage and is looking forward to exhibiting their best performance by winning more medals.
Kenya is expected to face strong challenge from Philippines and Iran. Other competitors include Thailand, Japan, Korea, Nepal, Cambodia, India, Taiwan, DRC Congo, Congo Brazaville, Nigeria, Zambia, Ethiopia, Cote de’ Ivoire, Benin, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Brazil, Paraguay, USA and Argentina.
This year's event in Korea is co-hosted by the World Martial Arts Mastership Committee, Chungcheongbuk-do Province and Chungju city in the Republic of Korea.
The Korean tournament is a precursor for the annual Mombasa International Championship to be held in December.
Among the top-notch players to represent Kenya in the championship in the various black belt categories are Newton Sady Abich (60kg), Evans Oduory Owino (63kg), Elvis Malipe Ole Mpakuanik (80kg), Peter James Njuguna (90ks) and Gordon Ochieng (+90kg), all to feature in men sparring category.
In the women sparring are Patricia Lucky Mbogo (51kg), Lorna Opiyo Abiero (65kg) and Rose Wacheke Mutui (+65Kg).
Collins Ndunda Muriungi, Samson Mambo Garama and Wanje Andrew Ziro are to fight for top honours in the men team forms while June Sun Juma will battle for men individual forms with Salma Ali Abdallah set to compete in the women individual forms category.
Competitors for the men special techniques event are Ibrahim Ingwala Mchumba and Athmani Ismael Ndaa Tune.