MUSCAT: A 22-member taekwondo team from world taekwondo headquarters Kukkkiwon in South Korea conquered the hearts of martial arts enthusiasts and spectators alike with their acrobatic skills at the opening ceremony of the second taekwondo competition in Muscat on Saturday.
The championship which saw around 150 participants from various clubs across the Sultanate was jointly organised by the Korean Embassy and Oman Taekwondo Committee with support from Ministry of Sports Affairs in Oman and Kukkiwon, South Korea, at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex indoor courts.
South Korean Minister of Defence Song Young-Moo was the special guest and Dr Abdullah bin Mohammed al Sarmi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Higher Education, was the chief guest for the function.
Other dignitaries included Shaikh Seif bin Hilal al Hosni, Vice-President of Oman Olympic Committee and Brigadier Khalid bin Ali al Jabri, Director of Military Sport of the Ministry of Defence, attending on behalf of the Minister of Defence. Kang Do Ho, Korean Ambassador to Oman, Brigadier Abdulmalik Ghassan al Mazroohi, Chairman of Oman Taekwondo Committee, were also present.
In his remarks, the Korean ambassador thanked the guest of honour and special guest along with other dignitaries and Kukkiwon team for making the event a grand success.
Kang said: “Taekwondo is fast becoming one of Oman’s favourite sports, practiced by people from all walks of life, all ages.”
He praised the efforts of Oman Taekwondo Committee, coaches and players in Oman and hoped that the Sultanate can make an impression at the international level soon. He also urged all to follow the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games in February 2018.
The Korean defence minister later awarded honorary black belts and uniforms to Dr Abdullah al Sarmi and Brig. Abdulmalik al Mazroohi in appreciation of their support to taekwondo in Oman.
CHALLENGE SWEEP MEDALS
In the championship, Challenge club topped the medals table by winning 5 gold and 5 silver and 10 bronze medals. Professional club came second with 5 gold and 3 silver. RX club finished third with 2 gold and 2 silver.
Gold medal winners
Junior girls: below 41kg: Hadith Ali (Challenge); 47 and above: Maria Andre (Al Wehda); Men: below 58kg: Abdullah Khalifa (Challenge); below 68kg: Haitham Mohammed (Professional); below 80kg: Redha Roohi (Challenge); 80kg and above: Khalifa Abdullah (Professional); Women: below 57kg: Yousra Shukri (Challenge); 62kg and above: Aya Abdul Samea (Professional); Men 56kg and above: Mohammed al Aisar (Challenge); below 80kg: Hamood Salim (Professional); Junior boys: below 41kg: Omar al Sinani (RX); below 45kg: Nibras Saeed (Nojoom Al Seeb); below 58kg: Ammar Hamdan (RX); 58kg and above: Salim al Abri (Professional)