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Fast kicking in Luxor
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 03 - 03 - 2015

For the second consecutive year, Egypt hosted the second edition of the Luxor Taekwondo Open at the Thebes Military Sports Complex.
Held from 27 February to 1 March in New Thebes in Luxor, the tournament hosted 782 men and women athletes from 50 countries. Eight male divisions and eight female categories were played for three consecutive days.
The championship was organised under the auspices of Minister of Youth and Sports Khaled Abdel-Aziz and the Egyptian Taekwondo Federation (ETF) headed by Farag El-Emari.
WTF vice-president and president of the Arab and the African Taekwondo Unions Ahmed El-Fouli told Al-Ahram Weekly that the championship was approved as a WTF tournament. “It is a G-2 category event on the WTF (World Taekwondo Federation) calendar and qualifies for the WTF Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
“It gives points to the athlete which will be added to the world ranking and which will help him to easily qualify for Rio 2016,” El-Fouli said.
El-Emari said that “at the political level, we are giving a true picture of the security situation in our country. It sends a message to the entire world that Egypt is safe. It also promotes tourism in the country.”
Egypt participated in the tournament with 28 men and women athletes. “Our Spanish coach began to train the Egyptian team only a month ago. After this championship, he will choose the athletes who will participate in the Olympics,” El-Emari said.
In the women's 53kg category, Egyptian Radwa Abdel-Kader snatched the gold medal. Brazilian Ekaterina Kramarenko took silver. Both Brazilian Ekaterina Kim and Briton Charlie Maddock won bronze medals.
In the men's 74kg category, Seif Eissa of Egypt won a silver medal. “Eissa achieved a very good result in this championship,” El-Emari said. “This is the first time for him to compete with the senior team.” Seif had won a bronze medal in the 73kg category at the Youth Olympics Games in Nanjing, China. “He is a very promising athlete. ETF will support him until he qualifies for the Olympics,” El-Emari added.
In the overall female team standings, France came on top with two gold and two silver. Brazil finished in second place with two gold medals. Russia came third place with two silver and three bronze and Egypt ended in sixth place with a gold medal.
In the overall male team standings, Russia topped the medal list with two gold and two bronze. Spain came in second with two gold and two bronze. Tunisia took third place with one gold and two silver. Egypt finished in 14th place with a bronze medal.
Added El-Fouli: “Four countries – Egypt, Côte d'Ivoire, Senegal and Morocco – presented bids to the WTF to host the taekwondo African qualifiers for Rio 2016. Minister Abdel-Aziz agreed to it and expressed his full support. We will wait for the meetings of the WTF General Assembly in May when the WTF members will vote to choose the host country.”

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