Dates set for taek­wondo tour­ney

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Mikia Kalati

THE Le­sotho Taek­wondo As­so­ci­a­tion (LTA) is set to host the third edi­tion of the Korean am­bas­sador’s Cup over two days next month.

the tour­na­ment takes place in Maseru from 5-6 De­cem­ber and hon­ours Korea’s con­tri­bu­tion to le­sotho taek­wondo.

lta pres­i­dent Moshoeshoe Mo­lapo told the Le­sotho Times: “taek­wondo has its roots in South Korea and they in turn, in­tro­duced the sport in our coun­try in 1972.

“ini­tially, taek­wondo was only taught within the army for self-de­fence and it was well-re­ceived so much that the le­sotho De­fence Force de­ployed their out­stand­ing play­ers and coaches in all dis­tricts of the coun­try to open taek­wondo clubs.”

Mo­lapo fur­ther said the sport grew from strength to strength un­til le­sotho be­came an in­ter­na­tional force, win­ning medals in the process.

“Since those early days, many Korean coaches have come to le­sotho to fur­ther de­velop the sport and the re­sults have been there for ev­ery­one to see,” said Mo­lapo.

How­ever, Mo­lapo ad­mit­ted stan­dards dropped soon af­ter South Korea re­called its coaches in the 1990s. the two na­tions have since re­sumed their ties, and Mo­lapo is op­ti­mistic le­sotho would soon be dom­i­nant in taek­wondo on the con­ti­nen­tal stage once again.

“De­spite the re­turn of the Kore­ans to re­vive the sport, it has not been easy due to the global fi­nan­cial melt­down.

“But we have been given a chance to get a coach from South Korea once again and we hope his pres­ence will help us re­vive the sport.

“it is worth not­ing that South Korea has been pay­ing for th­ese coaches and help­ing us with other lo­gis­tics over the years. Yet de­spite us host­ing this com­pe­ti­tion to hon­our their con­tri­bu­tion to lo­cal taek­wondo, they are also spon­sors in this year’s cham­pi­onship,” he said.

Mo­lapo also re­vealed a num­ber of lo­cal com­pa­nies had in­jected M100 000 into next month’s cham­pi­onship.

“When the cham­pi­onship was first held in 2013, coun­tries such as Botswana, South africa, Swazi­land and Mozam­bique were rep­re­sented in the tour­na­ment,” Mo­lapo said.

“i am happy to an­nounce that th­ese na­tions would be part of this year’s cham­pi­onship, and hope­fully Zim­babwe as well.”

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