Lesotho international Taekwondo star, Michelle Tau, has bagged a gold medal at the 7th Egypt Open tournament that ran from February 11-15 in Cairo.
Tau won 2-0 against a Moroccan opponent in the first match.
She won 2-1 against an Egyptian opponent, and 2-0 against a French opponent in her second and third matches, respectively to win gold.
In an exclusive interview with Newsday Sports following yet another impressive international victory, the grateful Tau said she achieved the feat through hard work and dedication.
She said she had been putting in the hard yards to prepare herself for the competition.
“I am always at the gym training and preparing for the competitions to keep up my performances to gain more points,” she said.
Her next fight will be tomorrow (Saturday) in the Presidents Cup tournament against yet-undisclosed opponents.
On what is next for her after the conclusion of her Egypt tour, Tau said it was unclear as she continued to experience visa problems.
“I still do not have a visa for Belgium, so I am currently training in Ivory Coast at the moment.
“I have to fight in Canada and the United States of America but I do not have the visas yet, so I do not want to say I will go and then end up not going,” Tau said.
The Taekwondo star has been struggling with funding problems as she needs money to apply for visas, accommodation, and other basic amenities.
In late 2022, this publication ran an article in which Tau unsuccessfully asked for financial assistance from well-wishers to support her training schedule abroad.
Tau has also been on an international training tour under the Olympic Solidarity Scholarships Programme, which is meant to help athletes prepare for the Paris 2024 Olympics, but this has been hampered by her visa challenges.
Her Cairo win comes after a series of international tournaments and competitions in which she has been involved across the globe as she prepares for the 2025 Olympics and world championships.
She has previously won gold and silver medals at the 2022 European Club’s Championship in Tallinn, Estonia.
The tournament was held over two days, and Tau was the only Lesotho athlete in participation.
The European Club Championship gold and silver medals take Tau’s medal tally to four for 2022.
She won a silver medal in the 2022 Israel Open Taekwondo Tournament and a silver medal at the Niger Open Taekwondo Tournament in February 2022.