Team USA had the third-best medal total among the 59 competing nations
Taipei City, Chinese Taipei - (Nov. 18, 2018) - Team USA finished strong with four medals on the last day of competition, adding three silver and a bronze to its medal tally bringing its total medal count to two gold, five silver and 10 bronze for the 2018 World Poomsae Championships. The medal total was the third highest of the tournament, bringing Team USA to 5th place in the gold medal standing. The top five countries were Korea, Chinese Taipei, Mexico, Iran and USA.
Adalis Munoz (l) with her Freestyle Athlete of the Year award
USA athlete Adalis "AJ" Munoz was also awarded Female Freestyle Athlete of the Year, having won her third consecutive title in that division.
Said head coach Dan Chuang, "Team USA showed that after two successful world championships in the Pan Am region, that we could travel to the heart of Asia and be dangerous in every division, even in the back yard of so many powerhouse poomsae nations. We demonstrated that team culture is winning culture, with the entire team of 57 athletes having each team member's back in the ring for four long days."
Team Leader Ron Southwick added, "The World Poomsae Championships is now over and as I travel home, I will be able to reflect on a wonderful moment. Not only did we come together as athletes, teammates and ambassadors, we created magic, and it is such an honor to serve them as Head of Team."
Shawn Seo (l) won silver at his first World Championships
In the Cadet Individual Male division, Shawn Seo earned a silver medal at his first World Poomsae Championships. Seo advanced through large preliminary and semifinal cut-off rounds to the finals, where he bested Great Britain and Chinese Taipei in single elimination before being just barely edged out by Korea with a margin of just 0.04 in a dramatic finish. Said Seo, "I practiced a lot with my grandmaster and weekend camps for this tournament. It felt amazing ... I couldn't believe that I would go so far and almost beat Korea."
Hannah Noble (l) used her gymnastics background to help her win silver
In the Under 17 Individual Freestyle Division, Hannah Noble earned a silver medal. In the preliminary round, she hit all of her impressive acrobatics and finished in a strong first place. In the finals, she again executed a flawless performance, but was edged out by just a few hundredths by Mexico. At just 13 years old, it was an impressive debut at the World Poomsae Championships. Said Noble, who is also a gymnast, "[My gymnastics background] balances me out and helps me feel confident. It was amazing [to be out there], the energy from the crowd was so good, it gave me energy too which was an awesome experience."
Erica Linthorst (l) earned silver in the Over 65 division
In the Over 65 Individual Female Division, defending world champion Erica Linthorst earned a silver medal. Linthorst advanced in the first round by bye, then over Russia to reach the finals against a strong player from Portugal. In a battle of nerves and will, the two competitors faced off - Linthorst was leading by 0.1 after the first round performance of Chonkwon, but her opponent came back with a strong Hansu to earn the win. Said Linthorst, "It was great to stand on the podium flanked by female 4th Master newly-arrived youngest member (Portugal, 65) and oldest participant (Colombia, 72). The final match provided a.challenge especially in focus and the lesson once again that each step and every detail counts. I am grateful to every Team USA athlete and our many supporters for their energy, enthusiasm, and thoughtful care/consideration throughout the entire championships!"
The Freestyle Mixed Team celebrate their bronze medal
In the Over 17 Freestyle Mixed Team division, Aleena Duong, Kody Han, Eddie Jeong, Kelsey Ha, Chrixy Lam, and Alexander Twu earned a bronze medal after a single final round filled with impressive choreography, jumping, spinning and acrobatic techniques. Said Twu, who was at his 5th World Poomsae Championship and earned his third world medal, "I had a feeling of accomplishment as a group. During past years, injuries were a factor ... coming together and accomplishing this competition is a great feeling. Thanks to everyone for supporting us - friends, family, teammates, everyone."
Cadet Female Individual Chiara Flotildes was competing at her first world championships. She advanced from the preliminary cutoff round to the semifinal round, where she was able to elevate her scores significantly from the first round. While she just missed the cut for the final eight in this very deep division, she certainly has a bright future ahead of her.
The Junior Pair of Karyn Real and Ethan Sun advanced through competitive preliminary and semifinal cut-off rounds to enter the final eight single elimination rounds. In a tough battle, they were stopped by Chinese Taipei in the quarterfinals.
Also competing on day 4 was the Under 17 Freestyle Pair of Sharlene Duong and Jacob Gonzaga. The pair had an exceptionally strong performance in the semifinal round that put them in third place. Unfortunately in the finals, they didn't finish in the medals but they showed an impressive caliber of execution.
Under 40 Individual Male Kwangjin Ha competed as well. Ha advanced by convincing margins over the Netherlands and Serbia in the rounds of 32 and 16 before being stopped by Spain in the quarterfinals in a close result.
CLICK HERE FOR FULL RESULTS FROM DAY 4
The head of the team for the trip was Ronald Southwick.The head coach was Daniel Chuang, and the other coaches included Barbara Brand, Jung Jin, Long Nguyen, Huy Nguyen, and David Turgeon. Anh Nguyen served as assistant coach. The manager was Tara Zielenski, and the assistant manager was Yea Real. The head doctor was Sherri Lashomb, and Buddy Ramsey and Thomas Wido also served as doctors.