The 10th World Para Taekwondo Championships took place in Veracruz, Mexico from Thursday 21st September to Sunday 24th September 2023.
It was at this tournament that all four of the athletes sent to represent GB Para-Poomsae Team won gold medals.
The city of Veracruz is a port city on the Gulf of Mexico, known for being a popular domestic tourist destination due to its beaches and water sports.
So, it was fitting that the scenic and hospitable Mexican city was selected as the host of the World Para Taekwondo tournament, with the special occasion being that it was the first Para Poomsae competition to take place in four years since the start of the pandemic.
The World Trade Centre in Veracruz was selected to host the Championships as the venue had a strong track record of hosting national and international events.
Para Poomsae at the Veracruz World Para Taekwondo Championships:
71 athletes from 18 countries participated in the Para Poomsae events.
One of the 18 nations was Great Britain with a Para Poomsae team consisting of:
• Jane Bedford (NTC – Nottingham)
• Summer Waheed (NTC – Nottingham)
• Bradley Brockies (Polaris Taekwondo)
• Samantha Carrington (Kang Han Combat & Martial Arts Academy)
The Great Britain Para-Poomsae squad that travelled to Mexico was led by Head Coach Russell Watkinson and Terry Cooper.
World Champions – Jane Bedford, Bradley Brockies, Sam Carrington and Summer Waheed
The Veracruz 2023 World Para Taekwondo Championships incorporated P20, P30, P50 and P70 categories.
Bradley Brockies would go up against athletes from Ecuador and Mexico before winning the Final against Costa Rican athlete Daniel Gamboa Matamoros, in the Male Senior A Class P21 on Saturday. This is Bradley’s 3rd consecutive gold at a World Championships and he is only 18! What an incredible achievement.
Another athlete who has secured her 3rd consecutive gold at the World Championships is Sam Carrington, who competed in the Female Senior A Class P33. Sam has worked incredibly hard to achieve this amazing trio of medals as she not only dedicates her time to Taekwondo but is also a teacher.
Bradley Brockies & Sam Carrington. Three-time World Para Poomsae Champions.
This would be successfully followed by consecutive Golds for Summer Waheed (Female Senior A Class P21) and Jane Bedford (Female Senior B Class P34) who attended their first World Championships. Both athletes rose to the challenge of a high-pressure environment and performed their patterns with poise and control.
Speaking about the path to Veracruz and how the team felt once they won their medals Bradley Brockies said
“I felt very nervous. This was my first major competition in the Senior category. I have competed at this level in the Junior category in 2017 and 2019. I have done a lot of extra training on the months leading up the competition. Not only have I attended my normal training but also Para squad training in Manchester, I have also had some additional session outside of normal training times. I have been very lucky to be supported not just by my own club (Polaris Taekwondo) but also the GB Para coaches and the coaches at Aquila Taekwondo. I have been training at The Manor at Bickley, a local hotel who let me train in their function rooms, sometimes with a coach or sometimes just on my own.
The fact that four of us went out to Mexico and the four of us came home with Gold medals was brilliant. Both Sam and I have competed and been successful at this level before, both now holding 3x World Championship titles. It was the first time for Summer and Jane. I am very proud to have been part of this team, it was simply lovely. I would like to say a big thank you to Master Gemma, Russell, Terry, Annie and to everyone that was involved in making this trip to the 10th World Para Championships in Veracruz a reality for me. Thank you also to everyone who has supported me in anyway in my Taekwondo journey, I hope I am making you proud.”
When the Great Britain Para Poomsae squad departed from Heathrow Airport to Mexico, their hard work and preparation would be duly rewarded multiple time zones later with Gold Medals for each athlete in their respective categories.
Russell Watkinson, Sam Carrington, Jane Bedford, Summer Waheed and Bradley Brockies.
Jane Bedford of NTC won her first World Championship in Veracruz. After the ceremony we managed to hear about her Gold medal experience.
“It was a whirlwind trip but we packed a lot into the time we had. As my first experience in not only an international competition but also representing GBR, I couldn’t have wished for a better team to go with. It was lovely getting to know them all better and everyone was wholly supportive and encouraging of each other. We were a small but mighty team.
The event and venue was world class – having attended a number of the Grand Prix events I was familiar with the set up but never imagined I’d be a competitor rather than a spectator and certainly not in Mexico at the World Para Taekwondo Championships.
I can barely remember the walk to the mats and despite all the lights and cameras, I was less nervous than I usually am. I’d told myself to absorb and enjoy the moment as best as I could. Poomsae over and my score was unbelievable – my highest yet, totally overwhelmed but absolutely thrilled.
The medal ceremony was such a celebration with competitors from every nation celebrating and cheering each other’s achievements – taekwondo is really a worldwide family where language isn’t a barrier, a smile and a high five is often enough.”
Annie Rogan is the Disability Development Officer for British Taekwondo, and played a large part in organising the preparation of the squad for the World Para Taekwondo Championships.
Annie said “I am incredibly proud of the athletes and their achievements at the World Championships. Over the last few months leading up to the competition I have supported them at sessions, through the selection process and organisation of the trip with help from the Performance Pathway Coaches. Although it wasn’t easy getting all the documentation ready in time, it was all made worth it as all four of the athletes achieved gold. This really helps with the development of an already strong and successful Para Poomsae Performance Pathway but also ensures we are a leading the way for inclusion of athletes on the world stage”
This massive achievement marks another milestone for the Great Britain Para Poomsae team to build on, leaving a historic mark on a tournament that the team will remember for many years to come.
British Taekwondo and its community want to wish a huge congratulations to all involved, as we celebrate their success.
British Taekwondo’s Para Poomsae Performance Squad is always on the look out to add athletes to the team. To find out more, please email email@example.com
Range Sports and Jcalicu
Range Sports and Jcalicu are the Official Uniform Sponsors of British Taekwondo’s National Teams. The partnership kicked off with Jcalicu uniforms being supplied to the Great Britain National Teams at the World Taekwondo Cadet World Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria in August 2022, and again most recently at the Sarajevo 2023 World Taekwondo Cadet Championships in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Veracruz 2023 World Para Taekwondo Championships was the first Para Taekwondo event that Range Sports and Jcalicu have provided GB athletes kit for.
All British Taekwondo instructors can apply for a trade account with Range Sports from their official website.