By Harrison Kivisu
Kenya made it six straight Mombasa Open Tong-Il Moo-Do (martial arts) titles after bagging 39 medals as the event ended at Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa at the weekend.
The hosts won the overall title after winning 14 gold, 13 silver and 12 bronze medals in what participants termed as one of the most competitive events since its inception.
Kenya’s arch-rivals, Philippines finished second with seven gold medals while Nigeria came in third position after bagging two gold, three silver and one bronze medal as Cote D ‘Ivoire settled for fourth with one gold, a silver and two bronze.
Team Kenya, headed by national coach Ibrahim Mchumba, did not, however, find it easy as they had to fight from behind, having trailed the Philippines for the better part of the first and second day.
In events performance, the over 18 years male individual forms final was won by Geovane Gella (Philippines) after scoring nine points followed Kenyan Elvis Malipe who garnered 8.7 points.
Gella then collected his second gold after winning the individual special techniques finals with 8.850 points ahead of Nigerian Ogene Ifeanyi (8.80 points) who scooped silver with the bronze going to Koume Dioudome of Cote D’Ivoire.
In the female over 18 years individual forms final, Arine Busalpa of Philippines earned a gold medal with 8.8 points, beating both Suwannaluck Phakdiwichitkul (8.4 points) of Thailand and Kenya’s Salma Ali (7.75 points) to silver and bronze medals respectively.
In the teams forms open category finals, Philippines beat Kenya A and B to win another gold with 9.05 points while in the teams special technique finals, Kenya A won gold with 8.85 points while silver went to Nigeria who had 8.45 points. Kenya B scored 8.40 points to claim bronze. In the under 18 years male kids individual forms, Kenya won gold silver and bronze through Joseph Clement (7.75 points), Alamin Ismail (7.5 points) and Simon Timos (5.65 points) while the girls’ equivalent went to Kenyans Nina Inan (gold) and Mwatum Isma (silver) who scored 7.5 points and 6.80 points respectively. Following the stellar show, the government has pledged to support Kenya Tong-Il Moo-Do Federation’s activities starting next month.
“We are heading into the next quarter of the year that starts in October and we are going to inject Sh5 million to boost the sport in the country,” said Noor Hassan Noor, Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Sports.