The competition aims to promote the practice of martial arts at home amid the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown.
Rabat – The Moroccan Royal Taekwondo Federation is organizing the first virtual national championship of Poomsae, a defined pattern to demonstrate Taekwondo techniques, from May 1 to 16.
The tournament aims to encourage the practice of Taekwondo during the lockdown period, the federation announced in a statement today, April 24.
Participants can use their mobile phones to send footage of their Poomsae demonstrations and participate in the tournament. National and international Taekwondo referees will evaluate the performances.
The winners will have their videos broadcasted on the official website of the Moroccan Royal Taekwondo Federation.
The virtual competition, the first of its kind in Morocco, hopes to raise awareness about the importance of respecting the nationwide lockdown to curb the COVID-19 spread, while also promoting the practice of Taekwondo.
The initiative comes as several Moroccan Taekwondo champions saw their dreams of participating in the 2020 Summer Olympics delayed for one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Oumaima El Bouchti (-49 kilograms category), Nada Laaraj (-57 kilograms), and Achraf Mahboubi (-80 kilograms) all guaranteed their spots in Tokyo in late February during the African Taekwondo Olympics Qualifiers.
The three athletes expressed their joy for qualifying and their eagerness to lift the Moroccan flag in the international event.
“Four years ago, I remember watching the Olympics on television as a kid. Today, I achieved the dream of athletes from all over the world,” 19-year-old Mahboubi said in an emotional speech after his qualification.
The fighters and their coaches assured that training continues despite the COVID-19 lockdown and despite the rescheduling of the Olympics.
In an interview with MWN, David Sicot, the head of the Taekwondo federation’s technical department, said that the Moroccan athletes are continuing to prepare for the Olympics, now set for 2021.
The fighters were planning to train in France, Norway, England, and Japan. However, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the national Taekwondo team had to adopt new ways to maintain the athletes’ physical fitness.
The three athletes participate in two remote coaching sessions a day, including a physical condition session in the morning and a technical session in the evening, Sicot told MWN.
While the martial artists continue to work out at home, it remains to be seen whether they will be able to maintain their peak performance after life starts going back to normal.