The first Palestine Taekwondo Championship has kicked off in Ramallah on Monday at the headquarters of Birzeit University, with participation of nearly 300 athletes, both local and international.
The championship started with a fight between the Palestinian athlete, Yazan Alghoul, and the Jordanian athlete, Ghalib Qassim.
The head of the Palestinian Taekwondo Union, Omar Kabaha, told Anadolu News Agency on Sunday, “The Israeli occupation authorities are trying to hinder the championship by refusing to issue permits for the Nigerian and Kyrgyz delegations and some Jordanian athletes.”
Israel hinders Palestine’s Taekwondo Championship https://t.co/MxvPRJ3LeS
— Andi Vincent (خليل) (@AndiVincent) July 19, 2016
Kabaha noted that Israel prevented 35 athletes and administrators from the Gaza Strip from attending the championship and held the Moroccan delegation for 48 hours.
He revealed that 350 athletes from 23 countries are participating in the championship.
Kabaha valued the participation of the Turkish delegation despite the tough circumstances in Turkey following the failed coup attempt.
The championship will continue for three days and will be supervised by the Turkish athlete and Taekwondo champion, Bahri Tanrikulu, who was granted a Palestinian passport to be able to represent Palestine in the 2016 Olympics in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro.