Brand's Blog: Day 1 at the 8th WTF World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships

Nov. 01, 2013, 5:26 p.m. (ET)

Three-time Poomsae World medalist and USAT AAC Representative Barbara Brand brings us her daily World Championships blog, which captures athlete reaction and daily results.

Day 1: ­­Noreen Thackrey grabs the gold
By Barbara Brand

Noreen Thackrey won the gold medal in the 3rd Master division on Oct. 31, the first day of the 8th World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships at the Bali International Convention Center. Korea took the silver, Spain and Russia, the bronze. It was Thackrey’s second gold medal victory in a row. In total, she has four world championship medals; two gold and two bronze (2007: 2nd master/2nd female team).  

Thackrey was elated by the win: “It feels so awesome to get to start off this championship with gold for the USA,” she said. “I was just trying to remember two things: to take care of business; and why I still do this at 62— just for the fun of it.”

Fellow 3rd Master Chi Duong used a strong, committed performance to win the bronze medal. Spain took gold in the event, while Korea earned silver and France claimed the second bronze.

Long Nguyen and Kelsey Ha finished sixth in a field of 13 pairs in the freestyle division. Indonesia took gold, Canada the silver, and China and Viet Nam the bronze.  The pair, which typically practices in a two car garage, took advantage of the space available at the practice venue and then focused on following Coach Huy Nguyen’s direction to not hold anything back.

“We trained so hard and made so many sacrifices to be here,” said Ha. “So, the only thing left to do was trust in our training, give everything we had and leave everything out on the mat.”

The rest of the U.S. Team members who competed on Day 1: Juniors Ryan Tucker and Sarah Min; 1st Master Garth Cooley; and the 1st Female Team of Michelle Chen, Carissa Fu and Miyako Yerick, who made it to the final round and placed eighth.

To view live streaming of the 2013 Poomsae World Championships competition, click here.