2013 European Poomsae Championships, Alicante, Spain
British Taekwondo had a 30 strong team, the biggest team ever entered for a European Poomsae Championships. 2013 was also an historic year as it included the introduction of the new Cadet Division, this helped make the Championships the largest country competitor entry to date. There were 25 countries and with world Poomsae dominating countries such as Spain, Turkey, Germany, Italy, Russia, and France all taking similar size teams as GB, it was surely going to be a tough campaign for our team. The organizing team of management, coaches, chaperones and of course international referee Grandmaster TW Shin, all representing British Taekwondo were well prepared to take on the challenge.
Following a difficult start with logistics and finding appropriate training facilities the team soon settled well. The GB team instantly made an impact with other arriving countries, with our etiquette, discipline and upbeat attitude which stayed apparent for the whole 5 day campaign. Master Derek Sumner, Head of Team and Cadet Coach, received personal acknowledgement from both WTF President Dr Choue and the President of the ETU, both remarking on their pleasure to see such an exciting and well prepared team, which was conveyed to the players adding to their pride of representing Great Britain.
The first Divisions on day 1 were the individual Cadets: Henry Chiu, and Louise Regazzoni, a daunting time for these young athletes but with immense maturity both progressed through the semi final of 13 players with ease and in high medal position. Louise just missing a medal with the smallest of margins making an overall amazing 5th place, Henry, however did bring home a bronze medal just missing out on the top medals to Turkey and Spain, by again the smallest of margins. But history was made and Team GB was in high confident spirits. The Secretary General, Gerritt Eissink of the ETU thanked Derek Sumner for campaigning to bringing this division of Cadets to the European and World Stage.
As the competition got under way the BT players performed and defeated other world players and medallists, not necessarily winning medals but making finals and in many divisions, agonizingly finishing in 5th or 6th place. But a new fresh young Junior female team took on the likes of Russia, Spain, Italy and Turkey a daunting task into a straight final but the girls showed near perfect synchronization and floor presence, Hollie Bousfield, Nikhita Mistry and Emily Whiting powered above Spain and Russia to take GB’s first ever Team medal only a fraction off the Gold, winning them an incredible silver medal. For the jubilant GB Team and supporters it wasn't to end there. Henry and Louise were to take to the floor once again, this time as a pair, they stormed through the semi finals in Silver medal position with the whole stadium captivated in the skill the composure of all these young talented players. The young GB Pair just had some minor errors winning them an eventual but again a momentous bronze medal, never before has British Taekwondo seen the Union Jack raised so many times in the highest level of Poomsae.
Master Simon Negus already ranking number 6 in the world from 2012 World Championships was on a mission in the under 49 (1st masters) division, His semi final Poomsae were solid and clean showing his superb kicking ability and with Master Gemma Biescas Coaching he held his nerves down enough to bring home a well deserved bronze medal.
The last day of Competition Proved to be the most frustrating as GB had senior individual, Pairs, teams, under 59s (master 2) and over 60s performing with 5 Gold medallists from the 2012 World Championships and other world medallists in these very tough divisions. The GB players, boosted by the previous day’s performances, were not going to go out without a fight. Many players just missed out on medal positions with the smallest of errors. Although they were disappointed to be so close and yet so far, the coaches and team expressed how proud they were of every player’s performance. It was an incredible German team that dominated the 3rd day but the GB under 29 male team: Ammar Alsaad, Thomas O’Neil and Jamie Barrett were not fazed in this small but quality division and the 3rd day was finished off with another Medal for GB the young men won a memorable bronze.
With a total medal tally of one Silver, and 5 Bronze, this was the most successful European Championships ever for British Taekwondo in Poomsae.
The growth and talent in World Poomsae has been taken to another level and Europe is a definite contender to dominate worldwide. Great Britain is continuing to improve and develop at a tremendous rate. British Taekwondo Poomsae not only had a record breaking European Championships but the team has left its mark at a European level, being talked about by dignitaries, International referees and coaches alike, giving BT Poomsae a great deal to be proud of.
One day after the team returned from Spain it was business as usual at the next National Squad training session, with the air of excitement and determination the squad were looking forward to the next competition. A week later most of the BT Squad were back on the floor performing at the UTA Open in Milton Keynes (again another record attendance at a BT sanctioned event ) and as expected all A class Gold’s and Silvers were won by National players this time representing their clubs.
Head of Team
& Cadet Coach - Master Derek Sumner
International Referee - Grandmaster TW Shin
Senior Coach - Master Gemma Biescas
Team Manager - Odette Stringwell
U14 Male - Henry Chiu - Livingwell
U14 Female - Louise Regazzoni - Dynamic
U17 Male - Thomas Leatherland - Carlton Arena
U17 Female - Hollie Bousfield - Halton
U29 Male - Ammar Alsaad - PremierKi
U29 Female - Kimberley Clarke - Dynamic
U39 Male - Constantino Cesar - MK UTA
U39 Female - Master Lyndzie Jeffrey - Granite City
U49 Male - Master Simon Negus - PremierKi
U49 Female - Odette Stringwell - Ultimate
U59 Male - Ali Pourtaheri - Livingwell
U59 Female - Susan Parkins - Livingwell
60+ Male - Mike Pejic - Pejic TKD
U14 Pair - Henry Chiu - Livingwell
U14 Pair - Louise Regazzoni - Dynamic
U17 Pair - Bradley Bergamini - Stoke UTA
U17 Pair - Nikhita Mistry - Carlton Arena
+30 Pair - Master Glen Culbert - NI UTA
+30 Pair - Claire Spowart - Cumbrae
U14 Team Male - Ciaran West - Ultimate
U14 Team Male - Cameron Fraser - Livingwell
U14 Team Male - Prem Govind - Carlton Arena
U14 Team Female - Lauren McKinlay - Central
U14 Team Female - Ellie Muir - Central
U14 Team Female - Abbie Newton - Tan’Gun
U17 Team Female - Hollie Bousfield - Halton
U17 Team Female - Nikhita Mistry - Carton Arena
U17 Team Female - Emily Whiting - Livingwell
U29 Team Male - Ammar Alsaad - PremierKi
U29 Team Male - Thomas O’Neil - Tan’Gun
U29 Team Male - Jamie Barrett - Carlton Arena
U29 Team Female - Taylor Parkins - Livingwell
U29 Team Female - Abbie Hughes - Halton
U29 Team Female - Kimberley Clarke - Dynamic
+30 Team Male - Master Simon Negus - PremierKi
+30 Team Male - Winston Casaclang - Allens TKD
+30 Team Male - Constantino Cesar - MK UTA