Pakistan’s youngest Taekwondo star wins gold medal in UAE

2007
Pakistani Aysha Ayaz Taekwondo champion
Pakistani Taekwondo start Aysha Ayaz wins gold medal at the Taekwondo champion

Abdul Basit

Pakistan’s youngest female Taekwondo star Ayesha Ayaz bagged gold medal at the 8th Fujairah Open International Taekwondo Championship held in Fujairah, UAE — from January 31 to February 2.

The 8-year-old girl from Swat claimed the title after winning the three matches of the championship. She defeated contenders from Dubai, Kyrgyzstan and England.

The Swat-based contender competed in the 34kg category and bagged the gold medal for Pakistan. It is pertinent to mention that Ayesha Ayaz won a bronze medal in 27kg category during the 7th Fujairah Open Taekwondo Championships in the United Arab Emirates last year.

Ayesha Ayaz, a nine-year-old student of Class IV from Swat district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, started practicing the sport at the age of three.

She has already managed to earn honours of being a five-time district champion, two-time provincial champion and three-time national champion. Ayaz Naik, father of Ayesha, is also a Taekwondo athlete and runs his own academy in Swat. Her younger brothers, six-year-old Zaryab Khan has won a gold medal at a national level while five-year-old Zaib Khan honoured with a silver medal.

According to reports, no one from Pakistan has ever participated in Taekwondo Olympics competition so far. People of Swat are expressing their joy over Ayesha’s iconic victory, calling it an example for other young children.

In February last year, the young girl from Mingora had already brought home a bronze medal in 27kg category of the 7th Fujairah Open Taekwondo Championship held in the United Arab Emirates.

The international Taekwondo event witnessed a record number of participating athletes around 2,000 fighters from over 40 countries, alongside 400 competitors from the UAE in both competitions.

These impressive numbers demonstrated the trust placed in the event by the world governing body and the World Taekwondo Federation’s (WT) decision to upgrade it to a G2 championship, which attracts more top fighters with higher ranking points up for grabs.

Fujairah also hosted the Arab Taekwondo Championship, which concluded on Wednesday. The event was held under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi, Crown Prince of Fujairah, The Honorary President of the Emirates Taekwondo Federation, and organised over the past two days by the Fujairah Martial Arts Club and supervised by the Emirates Taekwondo Federation at the Zayed Sports Complex.

The tournament attracted over 750 fighters representing 13 Arab countries including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan, Bahrain, Morocco, Oman, Yemen, Kuwait, Iraq, Tunisia, Algeria and UAE. – abdulbasit@theuaenews.com