Thursday, November 19, 2009

The 2nd India UAE Taekwondo Championship was held in the Salahudin Club in Mamzar on November 6, 2009. Sponsored by Manipal University and co-sponsored by Round Table Pizza, this championship saw trained junior and sub-junior teams from both countries battle it out for the title.

The best of 23 fighters, between the ages of 6-15, were chosen from all over India and UAE, through national competitions. The UAE National Championship was held in February 2009.

Taekwondo can be translated to 'The art of Kicking and Punching' or 'the art of unarmed combat'. The sport has been founded in Korea and is one of the world’s most popular martial arts. Taekwondo philosophy represents the principles of the changes and movements in human beings. Taekwondo combines combat techniques, self-defense, sport, exercise, meditation and philosophy. Making its Olympic debut in 1988 Korea games and is now continued as an Olympic medal sport since 2000 in Australia games.

They were judged on the basis of three events - Individual tool, Group tool and the Sparring. Al three events were intensely competed for by both the teams. The UAE team walked away with 15 gold medals, thereby bagging the Championship title. The Indian team won themselves a proud 10 gold, settling at second place to the title.

Krishna Kumar, Manipal University's Facilities Manager said “Manipal is proud to be associated with sports events like these. Taekwondo is all about boosting confidence and helps one to practice self defense.”

The man who made the event possible, Saeed Alrahyi, a Taekwondo practitioner himself said, “Taekwondo helps in the all round development of the individual. This is our second tournament and we would love to participate in competitions in India as well as other countries.”

M. Abdurahiman, the instructor of the UAE team expressed his joy at having won the championship, "We’re proud to have reclaimed the title", said the beaming coach.

Coach Pradeep. J, who accompanied the Indian team, said "We are very happy to be here, representing India. The kids performed better than we expected". He thanked Manipal University and said he was enthusiastic about more events like these in the future.

Mrs Nidhi Sharma, a proud mother of two participating children said that it was "quite an opportunity for the children to be representing their country at such a young age."

The Indian team was flown in for the event on the 4th of November. The youngest member among the Indian team was nine year old Namya Shree who was accompanied by her elder sister, also a competition entrant.

By Blassy Boben and Zaheen Hussain