COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Flying feet and piercing screams will be in abundance at Detroit's Ford Field this week as USA Taekwondo conducts its 2008 U.S. National Championship, Junior Olympic Championship, and U.S. National Poomsae Team Trials events July 1-6. Over 2,000 athletes ages 6-63, aided by over 500 coaches, will compete during the week.
In addition to vying for the title of "national champion" in their respective weight divisions, the sparring athletes will also be competing for spots at the 2008 Pan American Championships Team Selection Camp (for Senior athletes) and for places on the 2008 Junior National Team (for 14-17 year-old Junior athletes). A trials to select the 18-member U.S. National Poomsae (forms) Team will also be held during the week.
The Senior National Championships (July 1-2) includes forms and sparring events for athletes 14 years of age and older. The top three finishers, per gender, in each of the eight sparring weight divisions will advance to the 2008 Pan American Championships Team Selection Camp in Colorado Springs, Sept. 11-15, along with 2008 Olympic Team members and 2007 Senior National Team members. The 16-member U.S. team will be selected from that camp to compete at the 2008 Pan American Taekwondo Championships in October in Puerto Rico.
The Junior Olympic Championships, held July 3-6 features Olympic-type sparring competition in both the Elite Open Division and the World Class Division, as well as competition in forms.
The winner in each of the ten 14-17 year-old World Class weight divisions will receive a spot on the 2008 U.S. Junior National Team and will be invited to take part in a Junior National Team event later this year.
Appearances by 2008 Olympic Team members Steven Lopez, Mark Lopez, Diana Lopez and Charlotte Craig will take place on July 3 & 4. The Olympians will be signing autographs and posing for pictures with competitors at the event during designated times.
Tickets are available at the door any day of the event. Prices are:
Single-day - $15 for adults and $10 for seniors and children
Three-day - $40 for adults and $27 for seniors and children
Four-day - $50 for adults and $34 for seniors and children
Five-day - $60 for adults and $40 for seniors and children
Six-day - $70 for adults and $45 for seniors and children
Competition begins at 9:00 a.m. each day. The rundown of events for the week is as follows:
Tuesday, July 1
Senior Elite Open Black Belt Sparring
Wednesday, July 2
Senior Color Belt Sparring
Senior Elite Open Competition Poomsae
Senior World Class Sparring
Thursday, July 3
Junior Elite Open Sparring, 14-17
Junior Forms, 14-17
2008 U.S. National Poomsae Team Trials
Friday, July 4
Junior World Class Sparring, 14-17
Junior Elite Open Sparring, 12-13
Junior Forms, 10-11
Junior Elite Open Sparring, 10-11
Saturday, July 5
Junior Forms, 12-13
Junior World Class Sparring, 12-13
Junior World Class Sparring, 10-11
Junior Forms, 8-9
Junior Elite Open Sparring, 8-9
Sunday, July 6
Junior World Class Sparring, 8-9
Junior Forms, 6-7
Junior Sparring, 6-7