female Para taekwondo fighter Rajae Akermach kicks her opponent in the upper body

Rajae Akermach


Rajae Akermach made history in summer 2017 when she became the first African woman to earn a world No. 1 ranking in the sport after claiming her second African Championship. Later that year, she advanced to her second straight World Championship final in London, Great Britain. She ended up losing to hometown favourite and rival Amy Truesdale 17-3.

A few months later at the IWAS World Games in Portugal, the pair met again in the final of the women’s over 58kg K44. It was much more competitive, with Akermach falling 20-18 in a last-kick-wins kind of encounter. The pair met again in early 2018 in the African Open Championships final. This time Akermach returned the favour by winning gold on home soil to capture her third straight African title.

Akermach is a serious medal threat in Tokyo 2020 and is Africa’s best hope of claiming the first Paralympic gold in Para taekwondo.