Our Taekwon-Do are world's best
COMPETIING against 13 international squads, 14 martial arts athletes from Ballina punched above their weight to help Australia take first place in the World CHITF Taekwon-Do Championships in Melbourne earlier this month.
Over the weekend of March 9 and 10, 14 students from Ballina Taekwon-Do's Ballina and Tintenbar dojos travelled south to compete and helped Australia win 77 gold, 83 silver and 74 bronze medals.
Ballina Taekwon-Do head instructor Marc Bagatan said he was incredibly proud of all the athletes who competed against top athletes including teams from Canada, Argentina, Malaysia, China, Philippines, France, Puerto Rico and Spain.
"Each club that was registered for Australia was given their own medal tally, as well as contributing to Australia's Overall medal tally,” he said.
"Ballina Taekwon-Do's final medal tally was 14 gold, three silver and five bronze, making us the third most successful club at this international event.
"Our club came third at the championships after clubs from Argentina and Canada who came first and second respectively, made up their entire national team.”
Bagatan said the students, who mostly ranged in age from 10 to 16, competed in two disciplines of Patterns and Sparring.
"Patterns are the traditional side of the martial art that demonstrate the techniques of the art through set movements designed to show the purpose of the movements against imaginary opponents,” he said.
The Ballina Taekwon-Do squad was represented by Eliana Brown 16, (3rd Dan), Kate Schaefer, 15, (2nd Dan), Ethan Bagatan, 15, (2nd Dan), Matilda Brown, 12, (1st Dan), Clara Tolman, 14, (1st Dan), Sophie Anderson, 14, (1st Dan), Annie Tolman, 12, (1st Dan), Millie Jackson, 13, (1st Gup), Samuel Bagatan, 11, (1st Gup), Kelly Hamilton, 36, (3rd Gup), Christopher Kyprianou, 11, (6th Gup), Zappa Borich 11, (6th Gup), Olivia Kyprianou, 10 (6th Gup) and Thomas Speelman, 10, (6th Gup).
Bagatan said the Northern Rivers club can hold its head up against some of the best martial arts practitioners in the world.
"We were beaten by one gold medal by Canada who came second and by four gold by the club from Argentina,” he said.
"The Queensland championships are in two weeks and our athletes are back in training already.”
Full results are in today's Northern Star.