Kenya set to debut at African Para-Taekwondo Open
The national Para-Taekwondo team sent a team of six taekwondokas and six coaches for the second Africa Paralympics Taekwondo Championships in Kigali, Rwanda slated for March 31 – April 2.
The team travelled by road and is expected to arrive in Kigali on Thursday evening and will afford little rest before making their debut at the continent’s top competition for athletes with physical impairments that is however open to countries from outside Africa.
They are scheduled to go for the classification and weighing on Friday before launching their two-day competition.
Coach Kolele Kahindi believes his squad – mainly drawn from various schools for the physically handicapped in Mombasa – are in fine form and have what it takes to win and qualify for the Japan 2020 Paralympics Games.
“They have participated in several local tournaments at the Coast region and for the short period we have been training I feel the team is capable of representing the country well and bringing medals back home.
“I do not expect much challenge from other African teams; the western teams that have been invited will be a challenge to us since they have been in this sport longer than us and have more experience,” Kahindi said after their last light training session in Nairobi.
Among the travelling contingent is Peter Kamau, an international Para-Taekwondo referee.
“There are a few changes in the rules like in Para Taekwondo there is no hitting the head before you could but now you cannot. The other important thing is that they shall be using the electronic system that will be having sensors in the socks and in the chest protector.
“Once you touch it the point will reflect. So the event will be very free and fair and the players will not have to be worried about the awarding of points,” Kamau said as he some of the rules and expectations from the players.
The Kenya Taekwondo Federation interim secretary general George Wesonga stated the team will resume training shortly after their return from the continental event as they prepare for the World Paralympics Taekwondo in Manchester City, United Kingdom in October.
Team Kenya Travelling Squad
- Peter Yeri Kabani
- Samuel Masha Kizaro
- Emmanuel Mweni Karisa
- Thomas Kaingo Mushila
- Said Hussein Ali
- Alfred Soiteye – Mombasa Secondary School Physically Handicapped
- Omondi Muga- Head of delegation
- Philip Khaemba – Team Manager
- George Wesonga
- Peter Kamau – International Referee.
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