By Kang Seung-woo
Libya, Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria, Guinea and Tunisia showed their supremacy on the first day of the WTF African Taekwondo Qualification Tournament Thursday in Tripoli, Libya.
In the men's over-68 kilogram category, Libya's Ezedin Belgasem Salem placed first and Nigeria's Muhammad Isah Adam placed second to earn their respective countries places at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
In the men's over-80 kg category, Morocco's Abdelkader Zrouri placed first, while Nigeria's Chukwumerije Chika placed second.
In the women's under-67 kg category, Morocco's Benabderrassoul Mouna placed first and Guinea's Barry Mariama Dalanda placed second, while in the women's over-67 kg category, Egypt's Noha Safwat Hafez Abd Rabo took first and Tunisia's Khaoula Ben Hamza placed second.
Thus, the first day of the tournament saw six countries qualify for the Beijing Olympics.
A total of 77 athletes from 26 countries in Africa are participating in the two-day tournament, which is underway at the African Union Hall in downtown Tripoli. A total of 22 referees are officiating the tournament.
On Wednesday, a ceremony to mark the opening of the tournament was held at the amphitheater in Tripoli. Among the attendees at the ceremony, which drew about 200 people, were WTF Secretary General Jin Suk Yang, WTF Vice President Gen. Ahmed Fouly, and Hamza Elabed, president of the Libyan Taekwondo Federation. They delivered their respective congratulatory messages at the ceremony.
The ceremony featured a 20-member Korean taekwondo demonstration organized by Samsung, which is sponsoring the tournament.