World Taekwondo Poomsae Championship News: USA Wins Silver and Two Bronze Medals on Day Two
Written By: Barbara Brand
The USA Taekwondo National Team was ecstatic to win three more medals; one silver, two bronze today at the 7th World Taekwondo Poomsae Championship. The two day total: two gold, one silver, two bronze puts US in second place in the overall championship medal count. The action was exciting from start to finish as many team members advanced from the preliminary to the semi-final and final rounds.
Three time US National Poomsae team member, Kristi George, won a silver medal in the 2nd master division. She placed 4th behind Korea, Spain, Chinese Taipei in the semi-final round (Jitae, Koryo) but then jumped to 2nd place with solid performances in the final round (Shipjin, Taebaek). “It was wonderful to represent the USA today,” said Kristi after the event,
“I am very happy and very proud of the whole team.”
Akiko Reyes, five time USA National Poomsae Team member and two time world poomsae championship silver ('09,'10) and bronze medalist ('07), won a bronze medal in the 1st master division. She started off the morning looking confident and relaxed, "I feel great; I feel ready," she said at the venue a few hours before her division began the semi-final round . She placed fourth in the semi-final round (Pyongwon, Shipjin) behind Korea, Germany, and Finland, and then prepared for the final round, “During the warm-up, I didn’t feel perfect, but somehow when I walked into the arena, everything calmed down. I felt relaxed,” Reyes said. The US team cheered from the stands which were just a few feet away as she performed a smooth Chonkwon (7.53) and Jitae (7.27).
First time team member, Amber Rodriguez won a bronze medal in the brand new division, individual freestyle. The crowd cheered enthusiastically during the dynamic competition wherein competitors use aerial movements, jump spinning and multiple kicks, and sparring footwork. “It was my first time to compete in the poomsae world championships, and the experience was incredible. The competitors were world class. When I was reminded that the competition was not about me, I felt less nervous. I put out everything I had on the mat, and I was thrilled with the opportunity to represent the US on the world stage.”
First time team members Kody Han and Thanh-Van Huynh competed in the 1st senior division. Van-Huynh advanced from the preliminary round to the semifinals in 7th place and ultimately finished in 8th place. Han finished in the preliminary round in 10th place. Team captain, Garth Cooley, placed 6th in his preliminary round group and 11th in the semi-final round. 2nd master Reggie Ubiadis finished the semi-final round in 6th place and finals in 8th place.
The action will continue on Saturday. The US will have athletes in the 2nd senior, 1st female team, and freestyle pair divisions.