(Dec. 8, 2020) - The USA National Poomsae Team continued its strong performance at the 2020 Online World Poomsae Championships. After all 18 athletes advanced from the preliminary round to the semifinal by placing in the top 50% of athletes, the team continued its impressive run by advancing 15 athletes to the final (top 8) round. The final round will be contested this week, with the top 4 athletes in each division receiving medals.
In the Over 65 Division, Tweedy Nguyen advanced to the finals by placing fourth out of 11 athletes, and Chi Duong also advanced to the finals by placing fourth out of 13. They performed Shipin and Hansu.
In the Under 65 Male Division, James Park advanced to the finals by placing fifth out of 11, tied with the fourth place competitor on a tiebreak broken by presentation. He performed Taebaek and Chonkwon.
In the Under 60 Divisions, Elva Pai Adams advanced to the finals by placing first in her division of 17. Eun Ig Lee also advanced the finals by placing fourth in his division of 17. They both performed Keumgang and Jitae.
In the Under 50 Division, Thoa Nguyen advanced to the finals by placing third in her division of 14, and Pok Sun Yang placed second in his division of 19, just 0.02 off of 1st place Korea. Nguyen and Yang contested Koryo and Shipjin.
In the Under 40 division, Kathy Do placed sixth in her division of 16 to advance to the finals, and Anh Nguyen placed twelfth in his group of 17. While he did not advance to the finals, it was a strong finish among the group of 33 total entrants. Do and Nguyen performed Taegeuk 8 and Pyongwon.
In the Under 30 division, Ester Jo placed 4th in her group (there were 2 groups of 16) just edging out contender Srisahkit of Thailand on a tie score broken by 0.01 on presentation for the last spot for the group in the finals. Alex Lee placed 2nd in his group (2 groups of 16), just 0.04 off the first place spot, advancing to the finals in strong position. They performed Taegeuk 7 and Taebaek.
In the Junior (15-17) division, Sharlene Duong placed tenth in her group among 4 groups of 24 each. Ryan Real placed 5 in his group, one of 4 groups of 22. Both performed Taegeuk 4 and Keumgang. Both athletes performed well but unfortunately didn't advance to the final round in these large divisions. The Cadet and Junior divisions were open and therefore more than one player per country could compete.
In the Cadet Division (12-14), Juliana Candelaria placed first in her group (among 4 groups of 27) and Sunghyun Eric Gun placed first in his group (among 4 groups of 24), performing Taegeuk 7 and Koryo. Both will progress to the final 8, an impressive feat among groups of approximately 200 each.
In the Over 17 Freestyle Division, Stephanie May Fausto placed fourth in her division of 12, tied for 3rd in a tiebreak with Nguyen of Vietnam broken by the techincal score, and Nathaniel Cromwell placed seventh in his group of 14. Both advanced to the final round.
Joining the action in the finals will be Barbara Brand in Female Under 65, who had 7 total competitors in her division and therefore progressed directly to the finals.
The Head of Team for Team USA is Ron Southwick. The head coach of the team is Dan Chuang, with coaches Barbara Brand, Giduk Gun, Jung Hwan Jin, Sangjae Lee, Huy Nguyen, Long Nguyen and David Turgeon supporting the athletes. The managers are Jan Trigg and Sarah Lavan.
Also progressing to the finals in the Open divisions in addition to the national team were a number of other USA athletes. Yuri Kim (Female Cadet), Mikayla Xiong (Female Cadet), Kaitlyn Reclusado (Female Junior), Shawn Seo (Male Cadet), David Lee (Male Junior), and Bryson Lovorn (Male Junior) advanced to the finals of their respective divisions by placing in the top two of their respective groups.
In the open family divisions, USA athletes Bomin & Sungjin Kim, as well as April and Silas Minh, and Sangok & Yerim Jeong advanced to the finals of Family Pair. Also in the open family divisions, Family Team A saw USA Athletes Bomin, Jayden & Sungjin Kim, Cherith, Grace & Maggie Shiba, and Yewon, Sangok & Yerim Jeong all advanced to finals. Maryhien Pham,Theodore Young & Khue Pham and Carol, Azura & Nicholas Silva advanced to the finals in the Family Team B division.
The final rounds will be broadcast Dec. 7-15 by World Taekwondo on YouTube.