Korea kicks into Yangon for demonstration
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. –
A member of the Korean National Taekwondo Team blasts his foot through wooden planks on November 19 at Thuwunna Indoor Stadium.