Danielle Holmquist (Coral Springs, Fla.) and TJ Curry (El Sobrante, Calif.) both went undefeated at Thursday’s Olympic Team Trials for Taekwondo in Colorado Springs and will advance to the final phase of the Olympic Trials in March.
Holmquist won all five of her matches in the female -57kg division. She went 4-0 in the round robin portion and then posted an overtime victory over Deireanne Morales (Lynwood, Calif.) in the finals. Holmquist will now face 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Diana Lopez (Sugar Land, Texas) in March for the spot on the U.S. Olympic Team. As the #2 seed, Holmquist will need to defeat Lopez twice to earn the spot. Lopez needs just one win in March to qualify for her second straight Olympic Team.
Holmquist trailed Morales 4-1 in the third round of the final match but rallied back to tie the match and eventually landed the winning kick in sudden death overtime.
"Deireanne is young and hungry and has a bright future, but I felt really good today,” said Holmquist. “Everything came together. Most importantly I was smart, calm and had fun."
The men’s -80kg division was a double-elimination format and Curry won all three of his matches including a 3-2 win over Phillip Yun (Walnut, Calif.), a 6-2 win over Brian Gallagher (Littleton, Colo.) and a 2-1 win in the final over Luke Ford (Coconut Grove, Fla.).
Ford held a 1-0 advantage over Curry in the final round but Curry, fighting through a knee injury, responded with a two-point turning kick with 43 seconds remaining to jump ahead and hang on for the 2-1 victory.
"Luke Ford is a great athlete and I’ve been watching him for a long time, but I had the confidence in myself that I was going to get it back,” said Curry of his come-from-behind win.
Curry earns the right to face three-time Olympic medalist Steven Lopez (Sugar Land, Texas) in the final phase of the trials and will need to defeat Lopez twice to make the Olympic Team. He was runner-up to Lopez at the first phase back in November of 2010.
"Steven Lopez is great and I'm really excited to be fighting him again. I've always dreamed of facing him with a chance to go to the Olympics."
The Olympic Trials continue on Friday with competition in the female -67kg and male -68kg divisions. Start time is 10:00 a.m. in Sports Center I at the Olympic Training Center.
Final Results in Female -57kg
1. Danielle Holmquist (Coral Springs, Fla.)
2. Deireanne Morales (Lynwood, Calif.)
3. Simone DeVito (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.)
4. Nicole Palma (Lake Worth, Fla.)
5. Danielle Pelham (Bothell, Wash.)
Final Results in Male -80kg
1. TJ Curry (El Sobrante, Calif.)
2. Luke Ford (Coconut Grove, Fla.)
3. Brian Gallagher (Littleton, Colo.)
4. Phillip Yun (Walnut, Calif.)
5. Daniel Cosmillo (Ft. Myers, Fla.)
6. Alexander Ahlstrom (Granada Hills, Calif.)
Match-by-Match Results for Female -57kg
DeVito def. Pelham, 6-3
Holmquist def. Palma, 6-3
Morales def. DeVito, 5-3
Holmquist def. Pelham, WDR
DeVito def. Palma, 15-12
Morales def. Pelham WDR
Holmquist def. DeVito, 12-6
Morales def. Palma, 6-2
Holmquist def. Morales, 5-4
Palma def. Pelham, WDR
Holmquist def. Morales, OT
Match-by-Match Results for Male -80kg
Cosmillo def. Ahlstrom, 4-1
Yun def. Ford, 11-0
Gallagher def. Cosmillo, 6-1
Curry def. Yun, 3-2
Yun def. Ahlstrom, 7-3
Ford def. Cosmillo, 4-1
Curry def. Gallagher, 6-2
Ford def. Yun, 2-0
Ford def. Gallagher, 3-0
Curry def. Ford, 2-1