Kenya's sole taekwondo representative at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, Faith Ogallo has been drawn against Serbian Milica Mandic for her first fight on Tuesday, 27 July.
Tough Olympic draw for Taekwondo star Faith Ogallo
Let's get ready to rumble.
Ogallo who is a student at Kibabii University became the first Kenyan to qualify for the quadrennial games after emerging victorious in her taekwondo heavy weight category final clash at the 2020 Africa qualifiers in Rabat, Morocco.
The Bachelor of Arts in social works student is set to make her Olympic debut, only three years after picking up the sport.
Ever since she joined the Bungoma based university, Ogallo has always been a basketball, rugby and football fan.
It was only in 2018 that her university taekwondo coach spotted her playing a game of basketball and recommended that she switch sports.
Ogallo's decision to assimilate the Korean martial art was majorly influenced by Kibabii's impressive record.
Since 2012 they have been national champions of the Kenya University Sports Association Taekwondo championships, East African University Games champions since 2016, All Africa University Games champions since 2015.
The last time a Kenyan took part in the taekwondo event was 13 years ago at the 2008 Beijing Olympics when Dickson Wamwiri (deceased) and Milka Akinyi made history as the country's pioneer Olympians in taekwondo.
As the countdown continues towards her first bout, Ogallo will be full of confidence having claimed a bronze medal last month at the African Taekwondo championship games held in Senegal.
However, beating her opponent Milica Mandic will serve to be a no mean feat. At the 2012 London Olympics, Mandic claimed Serbia's first Taekwondo Olympic gold when she beat Anne-Caroline Graffe of France 9-7 in the women's +67kg final.
Graffe had looked the hot favorite to win gold after cruising through the early rounds and knocking out South Korea’s Lee In-Jong in the second round.
After a tight opening two rounds, Mandic opened up in the third and picked off world champion Graffe with quick kicks to the body, running out a 9-7 winner to earn Serbia their first gold medal of the Games.
JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!
Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or: