Taekwondo

Feb 17 Get a Glimpse of London in Las Vegas

Feb. 17, 2012, 7:20 p.m. (ET)

For the third time in four years Las Vegas will play host to the U.S. Open Taekwondo Championships. This year’s event will take place at the Las Vegas Hotel & Casino (formerly the Las Vegas Hilton), Feb. 21-24.

Nearly 1,800 athletes have registered for the event, including world and Olympic medalists, as well as at least 30 athletes who have qualified their country for this summer’s Olympic Games in London. There will be 54 nations represented, including over 20 national teams.

“USA Taekwondo is honored to be hosting athletes, coaches, referees and others from around the world at the 21st annual U.S. Open,” said USA Taekwondo CEO Eric Parthen. “With nearly 1,800 registered athletes, the 2012 U.S. Open will be the second largest U.S. Open in USAT’s history and this year is arguably the most competitive field we’ve ever seen given the numerous Olympic and World Championship medalists that have registered to compete.  USA Taekwondo appreciates the World Taekwondo Federation’s support of the U.S. Open with a G-2 rating for the third straight year and we’d also like to thank the referees, volunteers, and family members who support this event to make it one of the biggest and most prestigious taekwondo Opens in the world.”

For the third straight year, the World Taekwondo Federation has given the U.S. Open a G-2 rating, making it the highest rated open event on the WTF’s list of sanctioned events in 2012. A G-2 rating means the event carries more weight toward world ranking points for its participants.

Competition begins at 9:00 a.m. each day and tickets may be purchased by clicking HERE > > . See the full schedule of events HERE > >

The event will utilize the Daedo-Truescore system as the scoring system for all sparring divisions.

In addition, competition matches will be available for viewing on the Dartfish channel. Click on the banner on the USA Taekwondo homepage at www.usa-taekwondo.us.

The 30 international athletes competing in the U.S. Open who have qualified their countries for the 2012 Olympic Games include three Olympic medalists and 11 world championship medalists.

ATHLETES WHO QUALIFIED THEIR COUNTRY FOR THE 2012 OLYMPICS WHO ARE COMPETING AT U.S. OPEN

MALE
Flyweight (-58kg)
Uno Sanli
(Sweden)
Damian Villa (Mexico) – ’09 world silver medalist
Khalil Safwan (Australia)
Heiner Oviedo (Costa Rica)
Yulis Gabriel Mercedes
(Dominican Republic) – ’08 Olympic silver medalist/’99 & ’11 world bronze medalist

Featherweight (-68kg)
Diogo da Silva
(Brazil)
Idulio Islas Gomez (Mexico) – ’09 world silver medalist
Kismet Campbell (New Zealand)

Welterweight (-80kg)
Ramin Azizov
(Azerbaijan) – ’11 world bronze medalist
Issam Chernoubi (Morocco) – ’11 world bronze medalist

Middleweight (-87kg)
Sebastien Michaud
(Canada) – ’07 & ’09 world bronze medalist

Heavyweight (+87kg)
Ivan Trajkovic
(Slovenia)
Francois Coulombe Fortier (Canada)
Kenneth Edwards (Jamaica)
Kaino Thomsen (Samoa)

FEMALE
Flyweight (-49kg)

Lucija Zaninovic
(Croatia)
Elizabeth Zamora Gordillo (Guatemala)
Janethe Alegria Pena (Mexico)
Sanaa Atabrour (Morocco) – ’11 world bronze medalist

Bantamweight (-53kg)
Ana Zaninovic
(Croatia) – ’07 world silver & ’11 world gold medalist

Featherweight (-57kg)

Hedaya Ahmed Malak
(Egypt)

Lightweight (-62kg)

Karine Sergerie (Canada) – ’08 Olympic silver medalist/’03 world silver, ’05 world bronze, ’07 world gold & ’11 world bronze medalist

Welterweight (-67kg)
Farida Azizova
(Azerbaijan)
Elin Johansson (Sweden)
Franka Anic
(Slovenia)
Andrea St. Bernard (Grenada)
Seham Elsawalhy (Egypt)
Carmen Marton (Australia) – ’05 world bronze medalist

Middleweight (-73kg)
Nusa Rajher
(Slovenia)

Heavyweight (+73kg)
Maria del Rosario Espinoza
(Mexico) – ’08 Olympic gold medalist/’07 world gold medalist

Other notable international competitors include 2000 and 2004 Olympic bronze medalist Pascal Gentil of France in the men’s heavyweight division; Great Britain Olympic hopeful Aaron Cook in the men’s welterweight division; 2009 world championship silver medalist Maxime Potvin of Canada in the men’s lightweight division; 2011 world championship silver medalist Lamyaa Bekkali of Morocco in the women’s bantamweight division; and 2009 world championship bronze medalist Yvette Yong of Canada in the women’s finweight division.

Among the U.S. entries are eight members of the 2011 Senior National Team, 18 members of the 2012 Junior World Team, 14 members of the 2011 Junior National Team and seven members of the 2011 Junior Prep Team.

2011 U.S. SENIOR NATIONAL TEAM MEMBERS COMPETING
Lauren Cahoon Hamon (Miami, Fla.)
Aziza Chambers (Springfield, Ohio)
Charlotte Craig (Murrieta, Calif.) – ’07 world championship bronze
Luke Ford (Miami, Fla.)
James Howe (San Ramon, Calif.)
Stephen Lambdin (Colleyville, Texas)
Deireanne Morales (Lynwood, Calif.)
Sanaz Shahbazi (Sacramento, Calif.)

2012 U.S. JUNIOR WORLD TEAM MEMBERS COMPETING
Zachery Budde (Maple Grove, Minn.)
Alexandria Carino (Bakersfield, Calif.)
Alec Coopman (Kapolei, Hawaii)
Ethan Gallegos (Bakersfield, Calif.)
Danielle Gay (Rhinebeck, N.Y.)
Giuliana Gil (Camarillo, Calif.)
Alexxis Grosso (Anaheim, Calif.)
Ryan Guzman (Miami, Fla.)
Brandon Ivey (Ashburn, Va.)
Kelsey Junious (South Windsor, Conn.)
Tiffany Khuu (Diamond Bar, Calif.)
Cheyenne Lewis (Elk Grove, Calif.)
Moriah Martin (Eagle River, Alaska)
Deireanne Morales (Lynwood, Calif.)
Matthew Morales (Miami, Fla.)
Malik Taylor (Highlands Ranch, Colo.)
Drew Thompson (Maple Valley, Wash.)
Crystal Weekes (Staten Island, N.Y.)

2011 U.S. JUNIOR NATIONAL TEAM MEMBERS COMPETING
Griffin Beland (Storrs, Conn.)
Gregory English (Chicago, Ill.)
Giuliana Gil (Camarillo, Calif.)
Elias Guting (Milpitas, Calif.)
Adrienne Ivey (Ashburn, Va.)
Kelsey Junious (South Windsor, Conn.)
Cheyenne Lewis (Elk Grove, Calif.)
Deireanne Morales (Lynwood, Calif.)
Madison Motoyasu (Santa Clarita, Calif.)
Merissa Pico (Fort Lee, N.J.)
Brandon Pitak (Hoffmann Estates, Ill.)
Drew Thompson (Maple Valley, Wash.)
Jeffery Williams, Jr. (Chicago, Ill.)
Seth Wolfe (Miami, Fla.)

2011 U.S. JUNIOR PREP TEAM MEMBERS COMPETING
Michelle Gonciarz (Salt Lake City, Utah)
Chris Hidalgo (Salinas, Calif.)
Katie Jackson (San Jose, Calif.)
Trinity Sullivan (Coppell, Texas)
Estuardo Teran, Jr. (Brownsville, Texas)
Rachel Walsh (Roswell, Ga.)
Kendall Yount (Owenton, Ky.)

Other notable sparring competitors include 2009 world champion Danielle Pelham (Bothell, Wash.) in the women’s bantamweight division.

The 2011 U.S. National Poomsae team will also be well represented during with 14 athletes in action during Friday’s poosae competition.

2011 U.S. NATIONAL POOMSAE TEAM MEMBERS COMPETING
Barbara Brand (Sacramento, Calif.)
Dan Chuang (Cambridge, Mass.)
Hazel Cruz (Santa Clara, Calif.)
Thu Doolittle (Coppell, Texas)
Kristi George
(Indianapolis, Ind.)
Stephany Kim (Irvine, Calif.)
Young-A Claire Kim (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Erica Linthorst
(Mt. Vernon, N.Y.)
Anh Nguyen (San Jose, Calif.)
Long Nguyen (San Jose, Calif.)
Tuong-Huy Viet Nguyen (San Jose, Calif.)
Lance Supnet (San Jose, Calif.)
Ryan Tucker (Torrance, Calif.)
Lisa Zhou (New York, N.Y.)

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