The Greater Accra Regional Taekwondo Association (GARTA) team, emerged champions of the 11th Korean Ambassador’s Cup (KAC) Taekwondo Championships held at the Korea Sports Complex (Tema C3), from Thursday to Saturday, December 5 to 7, 2019.
The region that presented all 20 athletes maximum for the championship, which sought to enhance major participation of athletes from the various regions, won a total of 14 medals, 6 Gold, 3 Silver and 5 Bronze, gathering 114 points.
They were followed by Volta Region, who gathered 48 points after winning 2 Gold medals, 1 Silver medal and 5 Bronze medals. Northern region and Eastern region were tied on 3rd position with 1 Gold medal, 1 Silver medal and 2 Bronze medals apiece.
Captain of the Greater Accra team, Joshua Ayettey,said they have proven they have the best to represent the country.
“I am happy to compete for my region and I feel excited because most of the regions feel majority of the national athletes comefrom Accra which is bad idea. But with this championship, Greater Accra has proven to the whole country that we have the best and can provide the best.”
Greater Accra’s Benson Addo, who couldnot make the medal zone at last year’s event got to the finals but lost to Lawrence Tweasam in fiercely contested bout in the male -58kg. Tweasam, thus, finished as the best male player for the second time running in the senior category
Another all-Greater Accra finals was between Kezia Gbedze and Patience Takyi in the female 49Kg.
Julian Aryee further lifted the image of Greater Accra as he grabbedgold medal after winning the finals of the -68kg against Loic Souma from the Western Region. It wasnot all Greater Accra but Jesse Apalazoya from the Upper East region got to the finals of -63kg but lost to Jian-Eudes Sossou of the Eastern Region.
Sulley Sumana of the Northern region won gold medal in the male -80kg, same as Kiki Romaric from the Volta region clinched gold in the +80Kg.
President of the Ghana Taekwondo Federation (GTF), Frederick Lartey Otu in an interview with the media, highlighted the importance of this year’s event.
“This year has been different because we had all our member Regional Association athletes coming to participate. Our numbers have also increased and it tells you how we’re growing. Our relationship with the Korean Embassy has been cordial because if they have agreed to support the regions with transport, feeding and accommodation to come down and compete.
“It tells you, we are growing our relationship. And, it is our hope we move from Greater Accra to another region to promote the sport there. We have got a brighter future because of the huge numbers in the cadet category, because the children will replace the juniors and seniors, when they can no longer compete.”
Apart from winning the Overall Best region, Greater Accra’s Lawrence Tweasam and Patience Takyi lifted the Most Promising Male and Female Athlete’s trophy respectively.
In the other categories, Adizatu Shaba and Emmanuel Kofi Turkson from Sunyani Taekwondo Club were awarded the Most Promising Athletes in the Para division, while Groove Johnson and Alice Ganga won that of the juniors category.
WAM Tema players, Ryana Gyimah and Paa Kojo Yirenkyi Obeng also lifted the Most Promising trophies in the cadet category.
Counselor Dongik Jeong of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea, sponsors of the championship, promised their undying support to the development of Taekwondo in Ghana.
“This support comes from the Korean Government and we will continue to support the development of Taekwondo. Taekwondo in Ghana has a future because since I came to Ghana, participants keep increasing and I hope to see more participants next year from all the regions of Ghana.”
With this year’s theme being ‘Developing Taekwondo in the Regions’, the opening and closing ceremonies attracted a lot of dignitaries including parents whose wards competed in the cadet and junior categories.
Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC) President, Ben Nunoo Mensah, NPC President, Samson Deen, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea, KIM Sungsoo, President of the Ghana Triathlon Federation, Bawa Fuseini and President of the Ghana Armwrestling Federation, Charles Osei Asibey, are among the many who graced the event.
The KAC this year saw a total of 348 athletes from all categories, an increase from last year’s 292.
The GTF targets next July for the 12th edition and hopes to improve upon this year’s championships.