ISLAMABAD - The 13th Korean Ambassador National Taekwondo Championship rolled into action here at Liaqat Gymnasium on late Saturday night with 22-member Korean taekwondo team mesmerised the crowd through their world-class skills.

For their outstanding skills and techniques, the Koreans received standing ovation from the dignitaries and ambassadors of around 16 countries. Other notables present there were Pakistan Taekwondo Federation (PTF) President Lt Col (R) Wasim Ahmed Janjua, Patron Lt Gen (R) Javed Iqbal, Korean Ambassador Kwak Sung-Kyu and others.

In U-10 girls U-15kg category, Iqra won gold, Samra silver and Areej Riaz bronze, in U-20kg, Fiza won gold, Asfa silver and Noor Fatima bronze, in U-25kg, Ayesha won gold, Amna silver and Minahil bronze, in U-30kg, Raeesa won gold, Anoushey silver and Sadia bronze, in U-35kg, Sonia won gold, Marhaba silver and Aqsa bronze, in U-40kg, Aqsa won gold, Ushna silver and Iraj Fatima bronze, in U-45kg, Munisha won gold, Farheen silver and Farheen bronze, in U-50kg, Maham won gold, Abdar silver and Mahnoor bronze.

In boys U-10 Khyrogi U-15kg category, Mubashir won gold, Abdul Majeed silver and Daniyal bronze, in U-20kg, Musawar won gold, Ali Hassan silver and Konain bronze, in U-25kg, M Saqlain won gold, Ahmad Jan silver and Sajjad bronze, in U-30kg, Abdullah won gold, Mujeeb-ur-Rehman silver and Inam Ullah bronze, in U-35kg, Rafaqat won gold, M Haider silver and M Saad bronze, in U-40kg, Abrar won gold, M Sameer silver and Nabi bronze, in U-45kg, Amaan won gold, Ahsan silver and Raja Farhan bronze, in U-50kg, Atif won gold, Hamza silver and Imran Khan bronze.

Sharing his views, PTF Patron Lt Gen (R) Javed Iqbal expressed his pleasure and thanked Wasim for inviting him on such a wonderful event. He lauded the PTF role in helping youngsters to adopt this wonderful game and promised to keep on helping the federation in conducting such events in future too. He also promised to help the PTF in conducting international courses and international events in Pakistan and assured his all-out help and assistance.

“It is immense pleasure for me to be chief guest at this wonderful event. Taekwondo is the ninth most popular sports in the world having 209 member countries. Taekwondo combines self defensive techniques with sports and exercise, beyond the obvious health and general life benefits. Taekwondo is not just a physical activity but a way of life, it teaches us about team work and also tells us how to get along with others. It educate us to work together to achieve a common goal.

“I am grateful and humbled to the embassy of Republic of Korea and Kukkiwon headquarters, who have sent 22-member international demonstration team in Pakistan, which will certainly open the door of international competitions in Pakistan. I am also thankful to Sarvar Shamusarov, World Taekwondo representative, who is with us to educate our officials/coaches and athletes regarding the new GSM system.”

He also extended his gratitude to the Federation of United Arab Emirates for sending head coach Abdullah Hatim Al Maazmi to see the national event, which will ultimately prove helpful for UAE Federation to conduct their events in the same lines.

“I am also grateful to IPC Ministry and PSB DG for their all-out support to make the event remarkable for the national players. I expect same kind of a gesture in future as well. I am also thankful to the main sponsors like Embassy of Republic of South Korea Islamabad, Umar Saeed, Managing Director AF Powertek Engineering FZC, Saad Zaman, CE&MD New City Housing Society, Islamabad and Fauji Fertilizer Bin Qasim Ltd. I also like to thank all the affiliated units of PTF, spectators, Agha Khan Youth Sports Board and schools of Rawalpindi & Islamabad.”

Sharing his views, Kwak Sung-kyu, Ambassador of Republic of Korea, said: “I am very pleased to be here on the occasion of the grand opening ceremony in the midst of on-going versatile and uneasy security situations, I thank you all for coming. My thanks also go to the federation for its endeavors in organising this event. I understand this is the biggest taekwondo competition in Pakistan with more than 1,400 coaches and players coming from everywhere across the country.”

“Besides, I am also very pleased and proud to introduce you the Kukkiwon demonstration team. I am sure the team had mesmerised the Pakistani audience with their high level of skills and performance. I hope this championship will be a festival to bond all of us together.”