The much-anticipated sixth edition of the Mombasa Open international Tong-Il- Moo-Do martial arts championship has attracted participants from 25 countries worldwide with Germany team being the latest entrant.
Kenya Tong-IL Moo Do federation president Clarence Mwakio said the mixed martial arts tournament will be held between September 8 and 11 at the Mombasa’s Aga Khan Hall and battles lines are drawn for defending champions Kenya against perennial rival Philiphines who were among the first ones to confirm participation.
Participants from both boys and girls in the country will be drawn from secondary schools, academies and martial arts clubs.
Participants are expected to start arriving in Mombasa on Sunday for the 10-day event which is open for Karate, Jundo, Tong il-Moo-do, Kungfu, among others. Among the countries who have already confirmed their participation are Nepal, Philipines, USA, Thailand, Germany, UK, South Korea, Paraguay, Tanzania and Japan.
Others are Ethiopia, South Africa, Mali, Zambia, Bukina Faso, Argentina, Turkey, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo.
Champions Kenya will be seeking to defend the title they won during last year’s event at the same venue. The event according to Mwakio is in line with the competition calendar and Kenya had been named among the strategic locations to host the global competition.
“This is an annual event and this year we are expecting a very tough competition considering that we have new entrants like Germany. The competition is set to put Kenya on the world map especially if we manage to put on a world-class competition,” said Mwakio.
Kenya won last year’s event with 75 medals ahead of Philippines who bagged 11 medals while Thailand took third position with 10 medals.
Hotels business and airlines are expected to receive a boost as security will be tightened to make the event a success.
“We have identified several hotels where our guests will stay during the event, we have also put measures with several security departments to ensure security is beefed up for our visitors,” Mwakio said.
The participants will also be subjected to an anti-doping test before the day of the event where anti-doping officials will conduct the exercise.