Report from Rhodes – The 13th European Poomsae Championships 2017

The Great Britain Poomsae Team have just returned from the 13th European Poomsae Championships held in Rhodes, Greece on 7th and 8th May 2017.

The Great Britain Poomsae Team

Supported by the recently formed coaching team the players took on the best Europe has to offer with real confidence and positivity.  They managed to produce a highly impressive set of results with the mix of highly experienced senior players and hugely promising international debutants the GB Team finished an impressive overall 8th place in a competition filed of 27 countries.

The team of 36 players, representing 17 different British Taekwondo clubs, demonstrated the wide ranging appeal of competition poomsae with players aged between 11 and 67 years and there was a medal haul of six, one of the best performances on record by a British Team.

Indeed, it was the teams oldest female and youngest player who contributed the silver medals to this total medal haul of six, with a further four bronze medals.

In the Female Under 65 category, Angela Broadbent produced a career best 2nd place finish in a very strong division.  Angela’s achievement is inspirational to taekwondo athletes of all ages.  Her years of hard work and dedication proving age is no barrier to success even at the highest level in Europe.

Angela Broadbent on the podium

At the other end of the age scale, eleven year old Cadet Male Nino Ontoy gave an outstanding first round display which saw him leading the field of 24 going into the semi final.  Nino maintained his focus throughout but was eventually beaten into 3rd place by the narrowest of margins.  One of the youngest players in his category, there is no doubt Nino has a great future in international poomsae competition and is sure to go on to achieve many more major medals in the future.

Nino Ontoy

Nino then went on to team up with Joshua Tobin and Timi Okinrele to compete in the Cadet Male Team division and claim his 2nd medal of the tournament.  In a field of 8 top nations the boys took to the floor after a very strong team from Spain.  They produced a top class performance and promptly went to the top of the leader board with only the Turkish team to go.  There was a tense few moments waiting on the scores to be declared.  The boys just missed out on Gold but all agreed a Silver medal at this level was a fantastic result.

One of GB Poomsae’s most successful and experienced athletes, Simon Negus, was attempting to better his previous two European bronze medals.  After a brilliant semi final performance Simon went into the final in first place.  The tiniest of slips in poomsae Chonkwon meant Simon slipped back to the bronze medal position, such are the fine margins of top level poomsae competition.

Simon Negus and Wenqi Li 

The Female Under 40 division was contested using the exciting elimination system.  In a big category of well over 30 players Wenqi Li was drawn against a strong German contender in the first round.  It was a great win and Wenqi was inspired to go on to defeat Austria in the last 16 and Finland in the quarter final.  She was eventually stopped in the semi final by Russia.  Another bronze for the team in a category were medals are extremely hard to come by.

The team’s final medal performance came from Peter Johnson in the Male Under 65 category. Another hard earned major medal for the veteran poomsae player to add to his world silver medal he achieved last year.

Peter Johnson

One of the highlights of the tournament was the dynamic and exciting Freestyle competition and for the first time ever at a major event GB had a Freestyle entry.  Despite a very limit preparation time, professional stunt man, Erol Ismail wowed the crowds with his awe-inspiring display of acrobatic kicks.  He finished in a very credible 7th place and has declared his ambition to come back even stronger next time.

Erol Ismail in action during the ‘Freestyle’ competition

Although the rest of the team didn’t reach the medals there were so many promising results and Mark Abberley, British Taekwondo CEO who travelled as Head of Team, commented that ‘having travelled with the team it was great to see that the atmosphere and camaraderie amongst the team was outstanding throughout.  So many players, young and old, produced personal best performances and it was a reflection of the approach of both the players and the coaches that we contested 26 categories and were involved in no less than 15 finals!  The future for the GB Poomsae Team and the Poomsae Performance Programme looks extremely exciting.

U14’s Team with Coach Chan Say and Head of Team Mark Abberley

On the back of a very such successful European Championships, and to ensure we continue on the path to international success, we now intend to introduce open Talent ID sessions for all club Poomsae players of all ages, where our new coaching team will seek to strengthen the squad”.

Download the full results:

British Team Results Euro Poomsae Championships