Despite the global pandemic, The Cambodia ITF Taekwondo Federation (CITF) has step up training for upcoming competitions in the local and international arena.
The preparations have become more extensive, especially after ITF Taekwondo was included in the sports that will be contested in the 2023 Southeast Asian Games. This development marks the first time for the sport to be included in a major sports competition in Southeast Asia.
ITF Taekwondo, which is commonly referred to as the North Korean school of Taekwondo, is similar to the South Korean version, but puts more emphasis on head-height kicks, jumping spinning kicks and fast kicking techniques.
As part of its preparations, the CITF hosted a test match at the National Sports Training Centre in Phnom Penh a few days ago. The test match involved the best players from various clubs and provinces in the Kingdom. They were pitted against members of the National ITF Taekwondo Team.
The test match was intended to prepare the participants, especially national athletes, for future competitions.
Many of the participants are bound to compete not only in the National Championship and other local competitions as well as abroad, where Cambodia already has a stellar reputation.
The Kingdom took home 31 gold, 10 silver and 11 bronze medals during the First Junior and Senior Southeast Asian ITF Taekwondo Championships held in Phnom Penh four years ago. During the World ITF Taekwondo Championship in Bulgaria last year, Pal Chivorn won a gold medal for Cambodia, in addition to five silver and bronze medals won by other members of the Cambodian delegation.
During the test match, National Team players and 15 of the best ITF Taekwondo fighters from six clubs demonstrated their skills and techniques in front of CITF Chairman Keo Remy and other officials of the Federation.
“This test competition will assess the abilities and correct any shortcomings of the participants. From there, they would be able to compete better in the future against opponents from here and abroad,” Pal, who is now the National Team coach, said prior to the start of the event.
Keo, meanwhile, lauded the participants and urged them to work harder to improve their skills and abilities. He said that some of the best performers – who are not yet members of the national team – would be picked to join the squad and will have the opportunity to compete for Cambodia in the 2023 SEA Games.
Cambodia is set to host Southeast Asia’s biggest sporting event three years from now.
- Tags: Taekwondo