From the 15th until 21th of July the World Taekwondo Championship took place in Puebla, Mexico and for the very first time, Somalia was represented by two athletes. The light blue flag with a white star was carried by Faisal J. Aweys during the opening ceremony and was applauded by a full stadium. With the surprise of having Somali athletes there, people from many places were excited to take pictures and were asking for autograph. Somalia are now beginning to be known in the sporting world.
Unfortunately Somalia didn’t win any medals, but the experience was a great help to prepare the two young boys for the future. “The Somali Taekwondo National Team started to prepare themselves it’s been less than a year and good results have come but the world championship is something different, it’s huge and we learned a lot from this experience. Many other countries have been training for this tournament for over 4 years and also didn’t win anything. The experience was the most important thing for the Somali athletes and it will help a lot to qualify for the Olympic Games.”, said Elton de Souza , coach of the Team.
The first day started with the under 58kg category, Mohamed-deq, 17 years old, showed that he was not there to be joke. He lost his first fight 5x4 against Puerto Rico, but for a young boy for his age, it was a great result fighting against an experienced opponent. It was the first big tournament for Mohamed-deq and the experience will make him grow more and more.
Faisal J. Aweys fought on the last day and it was not easy. Having a fight against the number 15 athlete of the World Ranking didn’t help Faisal psychologically and he didn’t fight well. Faisal came from a hard preparation and didn’t expect lose in the first fight but it was also an experience that he had to learn. After his fight , Faisal J. Aweys gave an interview to the Local TV and spoke about the experience acheived there and the hard work that Somalia Taekwondo Federation and NOCSOM are doing to help the athletes grow and participate in tournaments like this one. The next World Championship will take place in Russia 2015 and hopefully Somalia will be there, one year before the Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The next big tournament for the Somali Taekwondo National Team will take place in Alexandria, Egypt (12th African Senior Taekwondo Championships). The tournament worth points for the world ranking and for the qualifications of the Olympic Games. Without holiday the team will keep training hard and a new athlete Salima Ismail Hussen will be joining the Team. With 3 athletes Somalia keep growing and will have more chances for Olympic Qualifications.