Noreen Thackrey, Claire Kim, Jason Hwang Win First Ever US Gold Medals
Written By: Barbara Brand
On Thursday, December 6, Noreen Thackrey, Claire Kim, and Jason Hwang made history by winning the first ever US World Championship Poomsae Championship gold medals in Tunja Colombia. Thackrey, a two time world championship bronze medalist (2007) performed Chonkwon and Hansu in the final round and scored (6.62) over silver medalist Korea (6.5) and bronze medalists Denmark (6.05) and Spain (5.82). Following the win, Thackrey was grateful, "I appreciate all of the support from the US team. It helped me maintain the edge I needed to win today."
2nd pair Claire Kim, (5 time national team member) and Jason Hwang('07, 08 team member) followed her into the finals just two hours later. Their strong performances of Pyongwon and Chonkwon 7.50) edged out out Netherlands (7.42), Russia (7.40), and Germany (7.38).
Following the competition, Claire Kim said, "I've been on the poomsae team since day one, and it has been purely out of passion.” Jason Hwang felt exhilarated, "Finally, I won a world medal, and I am a world champion now.
I want my parents and sister to know how much I love them because they let me be who I am. Also, I want to thank my master, Jae H. Kim, who gave me all of the foundation I need to carry on my Taekwondo career.”
Head of Team/National Poomsae Director Jimmy Kim was thrilled with the results, “I am extremely proud of the US National Poomsae Team. Over the years, I have witnessed the growth and development of poomsae in the United States, and today’s success validates all of our efforts to reach the podium. Noreen Thackrey, Claire Kim and Jason Hwang have been pursuing a poomsae gold medal since 2006, and their perseverance and dedication have been rewarded with the ultimate prize. I am confident that this is just the beginning and that during the next few days, US will win more medals from the 2012 WTF World Poomsae Championships here in Tunja, Columbia.”
The US National Poomsae Team will continue competition on December 7 in the 1st senior, 1st master and 2nd master divisions.