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East Africa Championships – Press Release

February 24, 2013

On Friday and Saturday the 22nd and 23rd of February the Rwanda Taekwondo Federation hosted the East African Taekwondo Championships in Kigali, Rwanda at the National Arena, Petit Stade Amahoro. It was attended by players and officials from Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda. Contestants competed for individual titles and to become the East African Taekwondo Champion for 2013 in eight weight divisions for men and five divisions for women. Each country selected one player for each division to allow for a team competition based on points the designated player garnered from victories and medals won. Medals were given to the first, second, and third place contestants of each division. A victory cup was given to the men’s team and women’s team champions. The total number of players participating in the championships was fifty-seven, eleven of which were women.

For the Men’s Team Championships, in fourth place was Burundi with twenty points; Kenya was in third with twenty-one points; Uganda was second with thirty points; and Rwanda won first place with thirty-two points. Rwanda’s national coach, Martin Koonce, stated that whereas all players contributed to the points totals with match wins and medals, of particular note was the performance of Olivier Biraro who lost his first match and was about to withdraw from the tournament, but then decided to continue and gave Rwanda six points due to his persevering performances with a silver medal in the lightweight division. Truly his character and perseverance modeled the traits found in the Rwanda Taekwondo Team.

For the Women’s Team Championships, in third place was Uganda with fifteen points; in second place was Rwanda with nineteen points; and in first place was Kenya with twenty-six points. The Kenyan ladies won a total of five medals and were strong in all the divisions they played.

For Rwanda’s individual men’s performances, five medals were won, four of which were gold. Of special recognition were Placide Bagabo of the Bantam division and Nzeyimana of the Featherweight division. Both came back from losses in last month’s Gorilla Open in Kigali and won when it mattered most. Nzeyimana’s final match for the EAC was a replay of the Gorilla Open final, yet with the results reversed and the Rwandan player taking the podium for the gold. Rwanda’s three ladies all medaled in the EAC taking two golds and one silver. Of special note was the performance of fifteen year old Delphine Uwababyeyi who at such a young age overcame strong players from Kenya to take the gold.

Both National Coach, Martin Koonce, and Federation President, David Hakizimana, were very pleased with their teams and thankful for the great performances. Coach Koonce said it was a great day for Taekwondo in Rwanda as during the competition the number of fans swelled to almost two thousand in the Petite Stade. He is also very thankful for the attendance of the Honorable Minister of Sports and Culture MITALI Protais and the Honorable Ambassador of the Republic of South Korea, Soon-Taik Hwang. Dr. Hakizimana was heard saying that it all far exceeded his expectations and he was amazed that Rwanda Taekwondo has come so far in such a short amount of time. Coach Koonce particularly wanted to thank Jesus for such an amazing event and Rwandan players as well as Africa Transformation Network, the teams only sponsor.

Women’s Finweight:
Gold: Uwababyeyi, Delphine (Rwanda) Silver: Acacia Aggarwal(Kenya) Bronze: Diana Serem (Kenya)

Women’s Bantamweight:
Gold: Mushabokazi, Zura (Rwanda) Silver: Apai (Uganda)

Women’s Featherweight:
Gold: Mary Muriu(Kenya)
Silver: Judith Aujo (Uganda)
Bronze: Athmani Mwanamisi (Kenya)

Women’s Lightweight:
Gold: Stecy Gatiiyu (Kenya) Silver: Joselyn Uwase (Rwanda)

Women’s Welterweight:
Gold: Pamela Achiro (Uganda)

Men’s Finweight:
Gold: Ngala Harrison (Kenya)
Silver: Paul Leeroy (Uganda)
Bronze: Ezekiel Ngendakumana (Burundi)

Men’s Flyweight:
Gold: Daniel Dziwe (Kenya)
Silver: Simon Okello (Uganda) Bronze: Kanim Mulcoana (Uganda)

Men’s Bantamweight:
Gold: Placide Bagabo (Rwanda) Silver: Andrew Mugisha (Uganda) Bronze: Edward Hareremana (Burundi)

Men’s Featherweight:
Gold: Nzeyimana (Rwanda) Silver: Ntulage Badru (Uganda) Bronze: Ronald Odoch (Uganda)

Men’s Lightweight:

East African Taekwondo Championships 2013

Gold: Derrick Banzubaze (Burundi) Silver: Olivier Biraro (Rwanda) Bronze: Bernard Mboniga (Uganda) Men’s Welterweight:

Egide Bamonyo

Men’s Middleweight:
Gold: Innocent Ndikumana (Burundi) Silver: Angode Omutonjelo (Kenya) Bronze: Geoffrey Olanya (Uganda)

Men’s Heavyweight:
Gold: Jean Bosco Cyusa (Rwanda)

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Carolyn Martin permalink
    February 24, 2013 11:22 pm

    All I can say is WOW and a great BIG congratulations! Bob’s message this morning centered on the work being done there by Him and you guys. God just keeps blessing and blessing. Keep looking up!

  2. Mildred Mayfield permalink
    February 24, 2013 11:29 pm

    How wonderful! God has certainly blessed this effort. I am proud of all who competed and all who so diligently work to bring this about. May God continue to bless each of you.

  3. Daniel Dziwe permalink
    March 18, 2013 5:23 pm

    I have a dream of being a champion of the world and thank God i can see the journey has started.Xo world get ready you a yet 2 see my best

  4. Daniel Dziwe permalink
    March 19, 2013 10:16 am

    Rome started built wid 1 block so shinning at East Africa championships i believe iz the begging of shinning ol over the world.God bless the wayz of Daniel Chombo Dziwe aka Young Stone

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