As per an article published today by allafrica.com, Rwanda’s national taekwondo technical director Martin Koonce has been appointed on the Africa Taekwondo Union (AFTU) as the in-charge of the Zone V region.
Koonce who is also the national team coach has been called up to this prestigious position by the AFTU president, Ahmed Fouly who doubles as the vice president of the World Taekwondo Federation.
In an interview, an excited Koonce said, “This appointment has allowed Rwanda taekwondo to become a potential leader in the game for Africa both from a competition and technical perspective. I say potential because it is an opportunity we in Rwanda must take full advantage of before the results we are seeking will come to pass.”
Koonce‘s main objective is to unite the zone through competitions and help those federations that have become inactive to operate again and more so effectively.
The Zone V area is comprised of Burundi, Comoros Islands, Djibouti, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.
“I am very surprised by the appointment since Rwanda’s federation has only been active for two years,” explained Koonce.
Of the countries in this region, Rwanda is the highest ranked nation according to the newly released results after the 2013 World Taekwondo championships that were held in Mexico from July 15-21.
Rwanda is ranked sixth on the African continent and among the top 40 in the world. The six-day event attracted 168 countries from across the world.
Making a debut appearance at the world event, Rwanda was represented by four players including the 20-year old Zura Mushambokazi, the sole female representative.
Flyweight Placide Bagabo (U-58kg), featherweight Savio Nizeyimana (U-68kg) and flyweight Boniface Mbonigaba (54kg) were the others who competed at the event.
According to Koonce this brilliant performance can even be better. Realistic goals have been set by the Rwanda Taekwondo Federation, some are short term and the others are long term.
“We are bidding to host the Ambassador’s Cup next month, hold National Championships in October and host the Africa Taekwondo Championships in November where we intend to win some medals for Rwanda,” pointed out a determined Koonce.
In the long term, RTF is aiming at Olympic participation and medals at the Rio 2016 Games and the 2020 edition whose host is yet to be announced by the International Olympic Committee.
RTF that taekwondo will be introduced in every district in Rwanda by 2020.