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Tae Kwondos elevated




Former British Tae Kwondo bronze medalist Jactone Ratang’a was upgraded to Dan 2, which is a second Black Belt during the Eldoret’s Tae Kwondo Open Tournament held at Eldoret’s Social hall.

The tournament organized by Kukkiwon, the Tae Kwondo headquarters based in Korea in conjunction with Uasin Gishu County Tae Kwondo branch, many Tae Kwondo students were upgraded to various categories in a three day full of action that ended on Sunday evening.

In the tournament, Eugene Mulanda and Winona Moraa won in men’s and women’s heavyweight categories respectively in a hotly contested final kick.

Mulanda won the title by beating Erick Otieno in a technical knockout at the same venue 19-4.

Moraa from Menengai Club overpowered Kibabii University’s Everlyne Aluoch in a fight to death battle.

They both tied on 14 points in normal time until they ended up in sudden death. They tied five a piece in the first round before Aluoch won the second set in 5-3 and  Moraa rejuvenated in the last play for a 6-4 points before going into sudden death play.

Moraa controversially won by a point to extend the lead to 15-14 on the final whistle.

Thomas Edonga of (Kibabii University) won the Middleweight men 19-4 against Moses Lokalo from Eldoret Stima club in a technical knockout.

University of Eldoret’s Gerald Rawlings won lightweight 16-8 against Moi University’s Rodgers Waswa in a technical knockout while while Gladys Cherop of Moi narrowly beat Kibabii’s Valentine Barasa 13-11 in the same category.

Flyweight winners were Beatrice Wang’ori of Moi in women as Stephen Odhiambo won in men’s category.

Daniel Ochieng easily knocked out Emmanuel Awit in the Featherweight category. The Menengai based player beat Awit of Eldoret 12-0 in a final fight as Samuel Mworo knocked out Jacob Peter in the Fin weight 16-12 and Collins Khaemba knocked out Kiprono Criticus 14-2 in Banton final fight.

Ratang’a was the main benefit from the training, acquiring Dan 2 since 1992 to join other several Tae Kwondo students who were upgraded into various categories.

“Today has marked a milestone in my life. I have been waiting for such grade for a long time after a long time,” said Ratang’a who pioneered Eldoret Tae Kwondo club in 1992.

Accompanied by master Earnest Olayo Madanji, Ratang’a became the only second Black Belt martial Art holder in the entire North Rift region.

Ratang’a has set his mission to introduce primary school going children into Tae Kwondo world, to open more doors for them in future.

“This region is well known for athletics and we have to nurture these young people to have some discipline, career and take the sport as their profession,” added Ratang;a.

The same was echoed by Madanji, the fitness and wellness instructor  said students should start their training at teenage stages to ensure their future.

“This is a calling for many young people and even mature ones to take up the sport, which will reduce terrorism in the country. If we had many tae kwondo stars or martial arts, then they could have saved many students in Garissa University and WestGate Mall,” concluded the Master.

Ratang’a was the only student to acquire Dan 2 category while four others: Calvine Obiero, Fredrick Ratang’a, George Wandera and Gideoon Maanga all receiving Black Belt One or Dan as five others were upgraded to pre-Dan categories.

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