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TAEKWONDO: USA Taekwondo National Qualifier to be Held March 29-30 in York, Pa.

March 27, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo-USA Taekwondo, the National Governing Body for the sport of Taekwondo in the United States, will hold a National Qualifier event at the York County Fair Grounds in York, Pa., March 29-30. The event is hosted by Sport York. The National Qualifier is the first of five qualifying events for 2008. Over 540 athletes, ranging in age from 6-60, are expected to compete in both forms (poomsae) and sparring disciplines. The competition will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday and 9:00 a.m. on Sunday. Tickets may be purchased at the door. Adult (11-59) tickets are $12 for a single-day pass or $20 for a two-day pass. Children (4-10) and seniors (60+) are $7 for a single-day pass and $12 for a two-day pass. Other USAT National Qualifiers scheduled for 2008 are in Des Moines, Iowa (April 5-6), Fresno, Calif. (April 12-13) , Houston, Texas (April 19-20) and Daytona Beach, Fla. (May 10-11) . The National Qualifiers are qualification events for those athletes interested in competing in the World Class Division at the 2008 USA Junior Olympic Taekwondo Championships and the 2008 USAT National Taekwondo Championships. Each of the top four black belt athletes per weight division in the male divisions and the top four black belt athletes in the female divisions at each qualifier will qualify for the World Class division at the USA Junior Olympic Taekwondo Championships and the USAT Senior National Championships (July 1-6 in Detroit, Mich.). The gold medalists from the World Class Division at the 2008 USA Junior Olympic Taekwondo Championships in Detroit will qualify for the 2008 U.S. Junior National Team. Senior forms (poomsae) competitors who win their respective divisions at the Senior National Championships in Detroit will qualify for the 2008 U.S. National Poomsae Team. Top sparring competitors in the York National Qualifier include 2007 U.S. Junior National Team members Cody Thongtavee (Alexandria, Va.) and Christian Suh (Franklin Square, N.Y.); 2008 U.S. Open gold medalists Sean Aston (Clarksburg, Md.) and Emilia Morrow (Rockville, Md.); 2008 U.S. Open silver medalists Christina Johnson (Rockville, Md.), Merissa Pico (Fort Lee, N.J.) and Melissa Blasco (Tuckerton, N.J.); 2008 U.S. Open bronze medalists Molly Jacobs (Potomac, Md.) and Mehdi Dehghani (Springfield, Va.); 2007 senior national silver medalists Jayson Grant (Worcester, Mass.) and Tanya Paterno (Katonah, N.Y.); 2007 senior national bronze medalists Shaina Krause (Fairfax Station, Va.), Brett Schuschereba (Lowell, Mass.), Andrew Oh (Bayside, N.Y.), Anthony Bell (Alexandria, Va.) and Faith Dortch (Ft. Washington, Md.); 2007 collegiate champion Kenneth Carter (Columbia, S.C.); 2007 collegiate bronze medalists Amy Maillet (Orange, Mass.) and Steven Lin (Chatham, N.J.); 2007 Junior Olympic gold medalist Dessamine Vince Cruz (Frederick, Md.) and 2006 national champion Christina Park (New York, N.Y.). For more information or to reserve a media credential, contact Bill Kellick at 719-866-3626 or 719-232-7792. ###