By Keith Puaria
“We came here through family expense because we didn’t get any sponsors. This is the second time for our families to support us,” Hemison Essau, team leader and bronze medalist at the Pacific Games in Noumea, New Caledonia, said.
“Our aim at the titles is to tell Bougainville that there is hope in this sport, especially those youths in South Bougainville. Hopefully, we can do our best so that people back at home will see.”
Essau will fight in the 68kg category. He leads a team of four including himself, Fidelis Laia (63kg-coloured belt), Peter Karou (80kg-coloured belt) and Jack Alimba (54kg-coloured belt).
On his return from Noumea, Essau started a club and any successes they can achieve will mean a lot for the growth of taekwondo in Buin.
The big challenge for the team lies in their brothers from Buka who will arrive today, East New Britain, Hula, Kassman’s Taekwondo club (NCD), Boera, Morobe and Bereina.
Tournament director Edward Kassman said the deadline for registrations for Port Moresby teams would be today.
However, they have relaxed the time on registration for outside centers.
“There is a big pool of fighters already. The clubs who haven’t registered have to come forward or call me today,” Kassman said.
He added that excitement was slowly building up. He was looking forward to the fights.
“Finding new talents and hopefully identifying good female fighters in the heavier categories. There are medals to be won in the heavier weights especially for the females, but we are yet to find that fighter,” he said.
TPNG president Ower Ila thanked the PNG Sports Federation and Olympic Committee for their support of the tournament.
Kassman can be contacted on 7219 9349 and 325 1411.
Via – The National.
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