Organized by the Ethiopian International Taekwondo Federation, Ethiopia has come out victorious in the second edition of the African Continental Taekwondo Championship in Addis Ababa.
Eleven African countries participated in the tournament, including Ethiopia, Gambia, Senegal, Uganda, Somalia, Tanzania, Cote d’Ivoire, Mozambique, Djibouti, Burundi, and Zimbabwe.
Ethiopia finished at the top of the medals board with 24 gold, 23 silver and 33 bronze medals. Senegal came in second with one gold, while Mozambique finished the tournament with two silver medals, coming in third.
Before the championship, from April 4 to 9, 2022, various international trainers trained over 600 students from all over the country, including from the 11 participating nations. The training was given by three Grand Masters of the Confederation of Taekwondo Federation (ITF).
The International Taekwondo Federation, one of the 31 sports federations in Ethiopia, has a popular following, with more than 210 international taekwondo clubs in the country. The Ethiopian International Taekwondo Federation competed in the 2019 tournament in Tanzania and won the title, while it also managed to compete in major championships in Spain, Germany, Italy, and Ireland.
“Although there are many federations in Ethiopia, the International Taekwondo Federation is one of the few federations in the country that is dependent on the government’s budget without any activity,” Getachew Shiferaw, president of the Ethiopian International Taekwondo Association, told The Reporter.
According to Getachew, many federations are being given budgets every year, and special attention should be given to those who fare better.
Getachew said the Ministry of Culture and Sports, which was present at the championship, has promised to further strengthen the federation.
Athletics and football are among the major sports in which Ethiopia participates in various international championships, while taekwondo represents another promising avenue.
The International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) is an international taekwondo organization founded on March 22, 1966, by General Choi Hong Hi in Seoul, South Korea to promote and encourage the growth of Korean martial art of Taekwondo.
Its main functions include coordinating and approving tournaments and seminars, setting standards for teaching (patterns, sparring, and destruction), collaborating with affiliated member organizations, and certifying and giving ranks to its members.