The World Taekwondo Federation has released its updated world rankings for Para Taekwondo revealing the May rankings with some big changes.
For the first time ever Africa has a women taking a number one position in the rankings as Moroccan Rajae Akermach lept from fourth in the 58kg K44 category. The big jump in the rankings comes from her win in the African Para Taekwondo Open in April.
After that African Para Taekwondo Open it has been a good month for Africa with five countries having their first ever athletes in the rankings. DR Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, and Rwanda all earned rankings points for the first times, with the set-up of points dispersal at the tournament giving African athletes more points.
A lot of established African athletes found themselves pushed in to the top five, with Moroccan Soukaina Es-sabbar up to number two in the women;s under 49kg K44 category coming after finishing second in the African Open. Nigeria has two athletes up in to the top five with Faith Obazuaye up to third in the women’s 58kg K44 category while Samson Saaondo Ukpera is up to fifth in the men’s 61kg K42.
The final big change for Africa was Rwanda’s Jean Marie Vianny Bizumuremyi managing to break in to the top ten, coming second in his first ever Para taekwondo tournament.
There were also notable performances for non-African athletes as Spanish player Amado Garagarza in the men’s 75kg K44 moving up five to seventh. The biggest mover was another European, Serbian Nicola Spajic entering the world rankings at 24th after coming second at the African Open. America’s Corbin Stacey was also a big mover, getting up to second in the men’s over 75kg K44 after a second place finish in Africa.