Members of the GB Squad competed in Germany on 24th/25th February, this was the 2nd of 3 designated selection events for the World Championships in November. This was the first competition to use the new rules of higher compulsory poomsae and a combined 51+ category. As expected it was an extremely competitive Championships with large categories and high-level opponents.
DAY 1 – Seniors
The senior divisions on day one performed exceptionally well with very close scoring and many GB competitors just missing out on a final or medal place by 0.01.
The first medal for GB Squad was Bronze in the 31+ pair for Wenqi Li and Simon Negus who also got bronze in the French open in January. The pair were looking for a different colour medal this time but just missed out on Gold and Silver by the German and Denmark National Team Pairs.
In the Female U50 category both GB Squad Players progressed comfortably to the final with good scores, but in a tight final Claire Howard came 5th, and Carolina Barros Clark came 4th securing the 2nd Bronze medal for the GB Squad.
The U30 Male and Female individuals were in split categories of over 60 players and with only performing one poomsae were unable to progress to the finals. Said Khelwatty just missed out on a Bronze coming 5th in the U40 Male category and the same with the +31Team Male of Said Khelwatty, Yousuf Dildar and Akram Aslami also finishing 5th.
The combining of the 51+ divisions made for a highly competitive category with 18 Male Players, despite being in the U65 division Peter Johnson beat several younger competitors, and Yousuf Dildar took 6th place.
The U30 Male team of Jamie Barrett, Henry Chiu and Thomas Leatherland achieved a well-deserved Bronze in the finals in an excellent synchronised performance.
At the same time on another ring, the 31+ Female team were also competing, and this brand new team did exceptionally well, earning Silver. Well done to Ashley Yates, Ling Tze Tan and Carolina Barros Clark.
After becoming the French Open Champion in January Simon Negus knew it was going to be difficult to beat the impressive German Competitors in Germany, and with very close scores managed to pick up Bronze in U50 Male.
The medal tally was a good start for the GB Squad and the Peewees, Cadets and Juniors were in good spirits on day two.
Just like the first day all the preliminary rounds were only one poomsae which makes it difficult for competitors to make an impression and also for judges to determine results. The U17 categories were vast, and all players were exceptional including Anya Mistry who progressed to the Semi-Finals in the females and Maximo Libid who advanced to the Finals in U17 Males.
Both of the U14 Male Teams picked up medals Silver for Joshua Tobin, Timi Akinrele and Noah Adams, and Bronze for James Nicholson, Ben Stewart and Aditya Odhavji.
It was a busy Championships with players on all four rings; the next medal was taken by U11 Pair Santiago Goncalves Milho and Eilidh Burke who won well-deserved Bronze.
Eilidh Burke in her first International added to her pair bronze with an Individual Bronze in U11 Females out of 12 Competitors. In the U11 Males Zaw Torley comfortably progressed to the finals winning Bronze.
The U14 Pair of Natasha Wilson and Nino Ontoy won Bronze in the division against 16 competitors, and Natasha also went on to secure Bronze in the U14 Female individual category too.
One of the most exciting categories of the day was the U14 Male division, out of 30 competitors 4 GB players progressed the Semi-Final and 3 to the Final. Performing Pyongwong for the very first time saw the players under a lot of pressure. Unfortunately, a forgotten kiup from Timi Akinrele dropped him out of a medal place. But the GB Poomsae Squad were able to secure both Gold and Silver. Nino Ontoy (pictured) improved on his Silver from France to take Gold and become the German Open Champion. Joshua Tobin showed an excellent performance to take the Silver in the same division.
It was an action-packed day, and our two freestyle competitors also performed amazingly. Aidan Palmer who was competing in the U17 division came 5th just missing out on a medal in a group with much older competitors. Zaw Torley competed in the U11 division and took home Silver with a confident performance.
The GB Squad medal tally of 1 Gold, 4 Silver and 10 Bronze earnt the 4th Place Country Trophy, behind Germany, Denmark and Netherlands. The German Open is a well respected and tough Championships, and our performances and results showed so much potential for the future of GB Poomsae.
The focus now for the squad will be preparing for the next major competition the British Taekwondo International Championships 14th and 15th July in London which promises to be a fantastic event.