ISLAMABAD               -          Pakistan Army won the 14th Korean Ambassador National Taekwondo Championship 2019 with total 16 gold medals and 580 points on the last day of the event, which concluded here at Amir Khan Boxing Hall, Pakistan Sports Complex on Monday.

Pakistan Taekwondo Federation (PTF), with the support of Omar Associates, AF Powertek Engineering FZC, Fauji Fertilizer Bin Qasim Ltd, NLC and Korean Embassy, organised the championship, in which teams from provinces, departments, services, Gilgit-Baltistan, AJK and Islamabad participated. South Korean Ambassador in Pakistan Kwak Sung-Kyu graced the occasion as chief guest and distributed the taekwondo equipment donated by Korean Embassy amongst the PTF affiliated associations and department. Shahzaib of Pakistan Air Force was declared the best athlete of the event and was also awarded Rs 50,000 cash award by the federation while PTF Women Wing President Shamim Akhtar also awarded Rs 20,000 to Haroon and Shahzaib for their outstanding performances.

The best encounter of the day was in the -45kg cadet category where all eyes were set on 10-year-old Afif Ali Khan, who won silver medal in Fujeera International this year and he was participating in the national event for the first time. The youngster, along with his two younger brothers, is determined to carry the national flag in Olympics. Afif was playing semifinal against seasoned PAF lad, who had won loads of medals at national level. He displayed top class skills against his senior opponent and went down losing 7-11, but he succeeded in winning many hearts.

PTF President Lt Col Wasim announced cash prize of Rs 5,000 as token of appreciation for Afif and termed him the find of the championship. The tears were pouring out form proud father AAA CEO Ahmed Ali Khan, who himself was a national taekwondo athlete. Talking to The Nation, Ahmed said: “I can’t describe these moments in words. Afif showed his skills and I am proud of my son. I will provide him every facility and ensure he will take Pakistan name forward.”

The much anticipated entry was Sanin Ashfaq’s first round match, which he won comfortably, but to the much of the surprise, he lost the quarterfinal fight to inexperienced opponent, which was the shock of the entire event. Sanin said: “I couldn’t adjust to the mats, while I landed yesterday and my body was not properly in shape. These are not lame excuses as I tried to display my skills but credit also goes to my opponent, who played well and registered victory. I will work hard and try to win gold next time. My main aim is to win international medals, which I have managed so far.”

But Sanin’s elder brother Ammar didn’t disappoint his dad Ashfaq and took sweet revenge of his younger brother’s loss by winning gold medal in -73kg heavyweight category. Army’s Ammar beat Arifullah of Islamabad in the title decider as he won comfortably with a huge margin. Arif settled for silver, Mubashir of GB and Hazrat Ullah of KP won bronze medals. In +68kg heavyweight females, Ghulam Fatima of Wapda won gold medal, Nusrat Bibi of Army silver, Asia Batool Army and Ghazala Imran won bronze medals.

In senior khyrougi/poomsae competitions, Army won first position with 16 gold, 7 silver and 6 bronze medals (total 580 points), Wapda secured second with 3 gold, 10 silver and 12 bronze (345 points), PAF managed third with 2 gold, 4 silver and 10 bronze (206 points).

In junior khyrougi competitions, KP secured top slot with 2 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze with total 60 points. Sindh secured second with 2 gold and one silver with total 40 points and PAF finished third with 3 silver and 2 bronze with total 40 points.

 In cadet khyrougi competitions, Islamabad stood first with 1 gold, 4 silver and 2 bronze (67 points), PAF earned second with 1 gold, 1 silver and 3 bronze (41 points), Sindh secured third with 1 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze (35 points).