The U.S. National Collegiate Taekwondo Team departs this weekend for the Summer World University Games in Belgrade, Serbia. The U.S. Taekwondo contingent at the games will consist of 33 athletes, coaches and officials.
Representing the United States on the women's sparring team are finweight Anees Hasnain (UCLA), flyweight Cheryl Krause (George Mason), bantamweight Aziza Chambers (Dayton), featherweight Kasey Mallard (Dallas Baptist), lightweight Whitney Daniel (Rutgers), welterweight Bonny Su (Texas), middleweight Brandi Powers (Stevenson) and heavyweight Maia Eubanks (Rice). Joining the women's sparring team as an alternate will be Audrey Su (Texas).
The men's sparring team is comprised of finweight Johnny Nguyen (Arizona State), flyweight James Howe (Diablo Valley), bantamweight Jason Hwang (Cal State-San Bernardino), featherweight Terrence Jennings (Northern Virginia C.C.), lightweight Stefan Webb (Metro State), welterweight Kristopher Uy (Diablo Valley), middleweight Jayson Grant (Quinsigamond C.C.) and heavyweight TJ Leising (Santa Clara). Joining the men's sparring team as an alternate will be Dennis Rudasill (Okalahoma State).
The sparring team will be joined by the poomsae team members. The poomsae team consists of men's individual Johnny Nguyen, women's individual Carissa Fu (Princeton), mixed pair Alicia Zhou (Harvard) and Bobby Ren (Lake Washington), men's team Johnny Nguyen, Anthony Nguyen (Arizona State), and Jason Hwang, and women's team Alicia Zhou, Karolina Corin (MIT) and Rebecca Hung (MIT). Jason Hwang and Johnny Nguyen are members of both the sparring and poomsae team. This is the first year that Taekwondo Poomsae has been been included in the Summer World University Games (Universiade) as an official event.
Terrence Jennings is the only team member with prior World University Games experience, having been a member of the 2005 World University Games team that competed in Izmir, Turkey. 2009 National Collegiate champions on the team include Nguyen, Howe, Hwang, Jennings, Chambers, Su, Grant and Powers. National Collegiate champions from previous years include Grant ('08), Chambers ('07) and Jennings ('05 & '06).
A group of officials will be traveling with the team as well. Serving as the team leader is NCTA President Rex Hatfield. The two head coaches are Yoon Kak Kim and Jae Ho Kim. Also serving as coaches are Linda Buell, NCTA Secretary General Dan Chuang and Kyong Hoon Kim. NCTA Referee Co-Chair Victoria Serbin will be joined by Daniel Rogers to serve as referees at the Games. Dr. Sherri Lashomb is returning this year as the team doctor.
Please keep up with the teams' travels with two athlete blogs. Anees Hasnain and Alicia Zhou will be blogging about their experiences as part of the US team at the Summer World University Games at the NCTA website (http://ncta-usa.com).
The official Summer World University Games Website is http://www.universiade-belgrade2009.org/.