July 11, 2016: In just concluded Jeonju Open International Taekwondo Championships, South Korea four players including a coach from Manipur representing India have won a total of three gold, two silver and two bronze medals. India won a total of 1 gold, 3 silver and 3 bronze medals respectively in Taekwondo Kyorugi Competitions, while 2 gold, 4 silver and 3 bronze medals respectively for Taekwondo Poomsae Competitions totaling 3 gold, 5 silver and 6 bronze medals. A total 18 players from India has participated the said championships.
Players from Manipur are led by Coach Takhellambam Raju Singh (41) from Sagolband Tera Amudon Akham Leikai, Imphal West. He is Chief Instructor of Creative Taekwondo Institute, Sagolband. He has also participated on Masters Poomsae Competitions and won a bronze medal. It has been always a dream for him to complete Taekwondo championship in the land of origin of this game – South Korea. He was once selected in 1993 to participate in International level Taekwondo championships; however he couldn’t go because of financial constraints.
Jotin Singh (16) from Patsoi Part II Mayai Leikai is the only player from India to win a gold medal at under 17 years and under 51 kgs boys category in Taekwondo Kyorugi Competitions. The final match against a South Korean player was challenging fight, yet Jotin managed to keep the lead and won by 16-11 points. He also won a silver medal in Taekwondo Poomsae Competitions under 17 years category.
Mangalleiba (13) from Uripok Achom Leikai, Imphal West has won one gold medal at under 13 years and under 45 kgs boys category of Taekwondo Poomsae Competitions and one silver medal under 13 years boys category at Taekwondo Kyorugi Competitions. He lost to a South Korean player in final match.
Aparna Yengkhom (14) from Lamsang Bazar, Imphal West won one gold at under 14 years girls category of Taekwondo Poomsae Competitions and a bronze medal at under 14 years and under 42 kgs category at Taekwondo Kyorugi Competitions. She narrowly lost the semi-final match against a player from China with 15-16 points.
This year a total of 7 players from Manipur were selected for taking part the said championship. However, due to the lack of financial support from the Taekwondo Federation of India, only 4 players could take part the championships in their own personal expenditures.