Korea kicks into Yan­gon for demon­stra­tion

The Myanmar Times - - Sport - LIL­LIAN KALISH l.kalish@mm­times.com

THE air smelled of sul­fur as black­belted men and women kicked wooden planks, mo­men­tar­ily spark­ing fire.

The 15 young black belts on stage at Thuwanna In­door Sta­dium com­prised part of the Korean Na­tional Taek­wondo Team pre­sent­ing a demon­stra­tion in Yan­gon on Novem­ber 19 at the 2016 Korean Am­bas­sador’s Cup Taek­wondo Cham­pi­onship.

“This is a chance for Myan­mar teams to learn from the Korean na­tional team,” said Korean am­bas­sador to Myan­mar Yoo Jae Kyung, stress­ing the ul­ti­mate goal of mu­tual shar­ing and fun at the event’s open­ing cer­e­mony.

Seated along­side him were rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Myan­mar Min­istry of Health and Sport as well as var­i­ous fac­tions from the Myan­mar Taek­wondo Fed­er­a­tion and stu­dent ex­er­cise groups clad in neon green jer­seys at the Tarmwe town­ship sta­dium.

Af­ter a se­ries of open­ing speeches and in­tro­duc­tions of the Myan­mar Taek­wondo Fed­er­a­tion teams who would later bat­tle in a se­ries of com­pe­ti­tions – un­der-10, un­der-14, and un­der-18 – the Korean na­tional team, with 13 young men and two women, took the stage to show off the skills reaped from in­ten­sive train­ing.

The most crowd­pleas­ing mo­ment in the demon­stra­tion came when a vet­eran taek­wondo prac­ti­tioner, as the crowd held its breath, cut through six solid ce­ment blocks with noth­ing but his hands.

Tak­ing their bow to a roar of praise, the Korean team left the stage to al­low the lo­cal teams to com­pete. Wrapped tightly in head gear and body ar­mour, chil­dren as young as eight hit the mat to bat­tle it out and prove their skills.

The 2016 Korean Am­bas­sador’s Cup comes just five months af­ter the Myan­mar Taek­wondo Fed­er­a­tion Pres­i­dent’s Cup in June, in which 180 chil­dren com­peted at the same sta­dium.

Hall, the world num­ber 902, made eight birdies on the day to card a 66, but could only make par at the play­off hole.

“We made the putts at the very end that mat­tered,” Amer­i­can for­mer world num­ber one Spi­eth said.

“I had a chance last year on 18 [to force a play­off] and didn’t hit a great putt and this time I had that same chance with a very sim­i­lar putt in the play­off and cap­i­talised so I drew back on that a lit­tle.

“I didn’t have much con­fi­dence in my swing on the last cou­ple of holes today in reg­u­la­tion and was able to calm down in-be­tween.”

The 2015 US Masters and US Open cham­pion carded six birdies and three bo­geys in his final round and moved to 12-un­der when he holed a 40-foot birdie putt at the par-five 16th.

Spi­eth’s vic­tory is his first since May and comes two years af­ter his scin­til­lat­ing final round 63 at The Aus­tralian Golf Club in 2014 which gave him his first Aus­tralian Open vic­tory by six shots. –

Photo: Khaleb Brooks

A mem­ber of the Korean Na­tional Taek­wondo Team blasts his foot through wooden planks on Novem­ber 19 at Thuwunna In­door Sta­dium.

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