Featured image: Liberia Taekwondo Youth Champions

The Liberia Taekwondo Federation wrapped up a successful 2023 season with a National Youth Championship. The event was held on Saturday December 30 at the the Master Russian Martial Arts and Fitness Academy Gym at the SKD Sports Complex and featured young martial artists between the ages of 7 and 16 years old.

“As we end the year 2023, the plan to rebrand continue[s],” LTF president Master Junior Pewee Russian wrote on a Facebook post, before announcing the Liberia Taekwondo youth champions. “Big thanks to our partners, sponsors, and supporters for their support to the Liberia TaeKwondo Federation.”

The Youth Championship was the second tournament that LTF held in 2023. It came seven months after LTF’s first official tournament in over 10 years, and is a part of the organization’s plan to host three national tournaments each year — with a focus on the youth.

Taekwondo in Liberia

Liberia registered its Taekwondo federation between the late 1970s and early 1980s, according to dates listed on various LTF logos. Either way, the martial art form, which was developed in South Korea, has been recognized in Liberia for at least 40 years.

The World Taekwondo, Kukkiwon-defined style — one of the four main taekwondo styles — focuses on competition and sport. According to MMA Channel, students learn how to use all types of fast and precise kicks and footwork to the upper body area. Punches receive the lowest score.

The point-fighting rules are as follows:

  • 1 point — for a punch to the trunk protector
  • 2 points — for a kick to the trunk protector
  • 3 points — for a kick to the head
  • 4 points — for a turning/spinning kick to the trunk protector
  • 5 points — for a turning/spinning kick to the head

One point is awarded to the opponent for every penalty — a kick below the waist or punch to the face. The athlete with the most points after three rounds wins.

Liberia Taekwondo Youth Champions

Russian told Go Team Liberia that 32 athletes registered for the match. The athletes fought in eight categories. Please see the winner’s list below.

Group1: Female Category
1. Favor Kermue – Gold
2. Victoria Manyanga – Silver
3. Diamond Pratt – Bronze
4. Dorcas Johnson – Bronze
Group 2: Lightweight Category
1. Emmanuel P. Dee- Gold
2. Mamajah Jalloh – Silver
3. Siddharth D. Kumar- Bronze
Group 3: Featherweight Category
1. Sediki Konneh – Gold
2. Edwin B. Gaye – Silver
3. Patrick Macaulay – Bronze
Group 4: Bantamweight Category
1- Barbes Dawolu – Gold
2. Maquis Blama – Silver
3. Sekou Kamara- Bronze
Group 5: Flyweight Category
1. Mohammed F. Kromah – Gold
2. Abubakar Jalloh – Silver
Group 6: Middleweight Category
1. Harmon Togbah – Gold
2. Varmuyan Kromah – Silver
3. Joseph G. Koigblee – Bronze
Group 7: Heavyweight Category
1. Elijah P. Sayee – Gold
2. George Chechee – Silver
Group 8: Special Group 
1. Prince Kieh – Gold
2. Vashikal Reddy – Silver
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“In the first one year of our administration, I say thank you to all our officials, Go Team Liberia, The Lucky Pharmacy Family, Grand Masters, Masters, instructors, students, and parents, for standing with us in this 2023,” Russian posted on Facebook, after highlighting the winners. “We pray for more blessings in 2024…God blessed us all…. A New Beginning.”