Yang through to semi-finals
Taekwondo athlete Yang Shu-chun (楊淑君) progressed to the semi-finals of the 2011 World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) World Taekwondo Championships yesterday in Gyeongju, South Korea, with a win over the host country’s Kim Hye-jeong. Yang took an early 3-0 lead and stayed ahead throughout the match, which ended in the third round with Yang rousting Kim 7-4. Earlier in the day, Yang dispatched Dixit Purva Dattatray of India 12-0 in less than three minutes and scored a hard-fought 1-0 win over Touran Dana of Jordan. Yang’s victory against Kim guaranteed her a place in the semi-finals, which are scheduled for today. Yang is competing internationally for the first time since her three-month suspension by the WTF in December. She was suspended after she protested her controversial disqualification at the Asian Games in November. Her coach, Liu Tsung-ta (劉聰達), was suspended for 20 months and the Chinese Taipei Taekwondo Association was fined US$50,000. WTF officials said Yang had violated the competition’s rules by wearing extra electronic sensors on her socks during her opening bout to score more points. Yang protested the decision by refusing to leave the ring. Video footage later showed she did not have the sensors on during the match. An appeal was filed with the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport in December. The case is pending.
Aboriginal crafts promoted
Impressed by the beauty of the handicrafts made by some Aborigines, British businessman James Ball has pledged to set up a Web site to introduce and promote Taiwanese Aboriginal culture. Ball is a devout Buddhist and cyber-sales expert for electronic products. He became acquainted with the Tzu Chi Buddhist Compassion Relief Foundation established by Dharma Master Cheng Yen (證嚴法師) last year during a visit to Taiwan. He returned to Taiwan this year to join a Tzu Chi English reading club and serve as an English teacher during the reading sessions of Master Cheng Yen’s writings. After a visit to the Tzu Chi Daai residential park in Shanlin District (山林), Greater Kaohsiung, where hundreds of Aborigines were living in new homes built by the foundation, Ball became intrigued with the beauty of the handicrafts made by the residents of the community. Ball said he is planning to launch a Web site to display the beautiful craftsmanship of Shanlin residents in items such as embroidery, glassware and bamboo lamps.
Changhua readies for festival
It might be five months away, but Changhua County officials are already gearing up for this year’s Matsu Faith and Culture Festival and making a big push for local businesses. The festival will begin with events at the Baozang Temple in Fenyuan Township (芬園) on Sept. 25. A procession to carry the statue around the county will begin on Oct. 2 and last for six days. By its conclusion, the statue will have traveled to 10 temples. However, county officials are heavily promoting local businesses to help them gain as much from this year’s festival as possible. The county government plans to assist businesses in organizing promotional events at heavily trafficked spots along the procession route. The county’s Department of Economic Affairs said a large factor in determining where the route will go will depend on the preferences from businesses, including shopping center retailers and providers of local factory tours.