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England flies the flag at the Commonwealth Taekwondo Poomsae Championships

England will have their strongest ever Poomsae Team represent the country at this weekends forthcoming 2011 Commonwealth Taekwondo Championships held in Chennai, India 28-30th January.

The team will be captained by World medallist Ali Portaheri (Livingwell) who will be competing in 2nd Masters Individual Male and aiming to capture a Gold at the Championships. Ali’s Bronze Medal at the World Championships helped Great Britain reach their current highest ever World ranking of 6th above countries renowned for Poomsae including France, Denmark and Netherlands. Ali will also be aiming for a second medal, partnering with teammate Sue Parkins in 2nd Pairs. Sue, who reached the Finals at the World Championships, will also be competing individually in 2nd Masters Female.

The team also features two Gold Medallists from the 2008 Commonwealth Championships, Sydney Craven (Livingwell) and Chan Sau (Loughton UTA) who both reached the semi finals at last years World Championships. Both will be aiming to retain their titles secured in Canada and are among the most experienced players in the team with Sydney competing in Junior Female and Chan competing in 2nd Senior Male.

Chan will be aiming to be the first ever athlete to capture three Commonwealth Gold medals in one Championship as he will be partnering Great Britain national team members Taylor Parkins (Livingwell) for the 1st Pairs category as well as Jack Chatterton (Livingwell) and Said Khelwatty (LTA) for the 1st Team Male event. Both Jack and Said will also be competing in individually in the Junior Male and 1st Senior Male categories respectively with Taylor also representing the country in 1st Senior Female.

Master Yousuf Dildar (LTA), who also made the Finals at the 2010 World Poomsae Championships, will be aiming to secure Gold for England in the 1st Masters Male Individual, as will Odette Stringwell (Ultimate) in 1st Masters Female. The BTCB Poomsae Committee would also like to congratulate Odette on her recent appointment as Team Manager for UK Poomsae.

The team will be headed by BTCB Poomsae Chairman Master Derek Sumner, who was recently awarded his 6th Dan, with Tim Chatterton assisting the team as Logistics Manager.

The 5th Commonwealth Taekwondo Championships are shaping up to be the biggest ever with large teams for both Poomsae and Kyorugi from all the home nations (England, Scotland Northern Ireland and Wales) in attendance as well as Canada, Australia and host nation India.

The forthcoming BTCB National Taekwondo Poomsae Championships will be held in Sheffield next weekend 5-6th February and will be the first step for selection of the Great Britain Team for this years European Championships which will be held in May in Italy and the World Championships in Russia in July. For more information on how to get involved in Poomsae please see the Poomsae section of the BTCB website.