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Kicks fly at martial art tourney

- Chief minister encourages girls to learn taekwondo for self-defence

Over the next three days, Patnaites will get a chance to fine-tune the art of “kicking”.

Chief minister Nitish Kumar, inaugurating the 31st Senior National (Male and Female) Taekwondo Championship on Tuesday, said martial arts are the best form of defence and the skills are important for girls. He said: “At present, girls learn judo, karate and taekwondo in schools. This art would be expanded to more schools and colleges shortly.” He added that if a woman knows martial art, “road Romeos will have to think a million times before teasing her”.

Around 410 players from 38 states, Union territories and police organisations will exhibit their skills at the championship organised by Bihar Taekwondo Association and Taekwondo Federation of India at Patliputra Sports Complex in Kankerbagh.

Bihar is hosting the national-level taekwondo tournament for the first time.

Taekwondo, a Korean martial art, is the form of attacking a target with feet and using the legs for blocking attacks within eight minutes and two one-minute breaks in between.

Art, culture and youth affairs minister Sukhada Pandey said: “Many sports federations have approached the departments for holding tournaments. Tournaments in many sports will be played in 2013.”

She added that earlier there was no big stadium in Bihar to host national- and international-level tournaments but with the construction of Patliputra Sports Complex, the vacuum has been filled.

In the inaugural match played between Odisha and Uttarakhand, Sucharita Behra of Odisha defeated Raksha Rautela of Uttarakhand by 3 score.

Sucharita Behra in red jersey dominated the game from the start, landing three kicks on Rautela’s chest. Anil Tripathi, a referee, said: “The game is very technical with a score earned on kicks. If a player makes a straight kick below the neck, then one score is earned.”


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