By Mwakwaya Raymond
The Phillipian Team has already jetted in to Mombasa for the open Tong-IL Moo-Do championship that kicks off next week.
The Filipinos jetted in on Sunday December 12 through Moi International Airport.
Another team that also arrived on Sunday is that of Turkey.
The teams have come early so they can have a whole week of training in the country and acclimatize with the currently hot Mombasa weather.
20 nations to contend
Up to 20 nations from Asia, Europe, Middle East, North and South America will take part in the Dec 18-19 competition at the Aga Khan hall.
Kenya Tong IL Moo Do federation president Master Clarence Mwakio termed the arrival of foreign players as a boost to local tourism at the coast.
“Teams have started arriving, we have put everything in order to ensure the competition is successful. We are also happy that this is a boost to local tourism, as the players and officials are booked local hotels in Mombasa,” said Mwakio.
Both the World Tong-IL Moo Do vice president Dr Venus Augustine, alongside Turkey Tong IL Moo Do federation president applauded the Kenyan government for the support towards hosting and promoting the sport.
“Am very happy to be here in Kenya and also happy to see Kenya promoting this sport, it’s very important for players and officials to play in well secured environment. We thank the government and all the people for hospitality,” Augustine said.
Team Jasiri raring to go
Eight-time defending champions, Team Jasiri will be gearing to defend its title; it will assemble a 50-members squad, after a successful team selection that saw new players join to reinforce the squad.
“We made a selection of national teams in Mombasa and Nairobi and we recruited a few more players in our team Jasiri, and now we have formed a team of 50 players who include 14 female and 36 males,” Mwakio said in an interview in Mombasa.
The players will participate in both team and individual categories in form, sparring and special techniques.All covid-19 protocols will be strictly observed.
“Kenyan team is in good form, the coach has confirmed to me that there are no injuries and they are ready to face the challenge,” Mwakio added.
He said the government has offered to support the Federation through the ministry of sports.
The squad is currently undergoing indoor training before they join other teams from the rest of the world in the indoor games.
A reasonable number of countries, according to the president, have responded positively despite the Covid-19 crisis.
Mwakio the more than 20 countries that have confirmed their participation in this year’s tournament are drawn from Africa, Europe, and America.
He said Kenya is confident of hosting a successful contest, considering that the preparations have been up to par in the past four months.
He pointed out that Turkey is expected to field more players this year after presenting a limited squad in last year’s tournament.