2009 National Team Named
The 2009 U.S. National Team was named upon completion of the round robin team trials at the Austin (Texas) Convention Center on Friday. The 16-member team will compete at the WTF World Taekwondo Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark, October 14-18.
Qualifying for the men's team were finweight Luis Reyes (Chatsworth, Calif.), flyweight James Howe (San Ramon, Calif.), bantamweight Brian Gallagher (Highlands Ranch, Colo.), featherweight Steven Lin (Chatham, N.J.), lightweight Mark Lopez (Sugar Land, Texas), welterweight Steven Lopez (Sugar Land, Texas), middleweight Antony Graf (Miami, Fla.) and heavyweight Jason Neville (Edmond, Okla.).
Reyes, Gallagher, Mark Lopez, Steven Lopez and Graf were all members of the 2007 National Team. Steven Lopez is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and four-time world champion. He will be shooting for an unprecedented fifth world title in October. Mark Lopez was a 2005 world champion and Olympic silver medalist at the Beijing Games in 2008.
The women's team is comprised of finweight Talina Le (Woodinville, Wash.), flyweight Victoria Stambaugh (Pasadena, Texas), bantamweight Danielle Pelham (Bothell, Wash.), featherweight Danielle Holmquist (Coral Springs, Fla.), lightweight Stephanie Beckel (Miami, Fla.), welterweight Nia Abdallah (Houston, Texas), middleweight Dalia Avivi (Plantation, Fla.) and heavyweight Lauren Cahoon (Miami, Fla.).
Abdallah and Avivi were members of the 2007 National Team and Cahoon was a member in 2005 & 2006. Abdallah is also the 2004 Olympic silver medalist and 2007 world bronze medalist.
2008 Olympic bronze medalist and 2005 world champion Diana Lopez (Sugar Land, Texas) injured her knee in her first match on Friday in the women's featherweight division and was unable to continue in the competition.