October 2017 – ITF World Championships – Dublin, Ireland

Report from Dublin

Sabumnim Michael Nguyen and Boosabumnim Leon Sejranovic traveled to Dublin in October to compete at the 20th  ‘Senior and 14th Junior ITF World Championships in Ireland.

Tuesday 10th October
Team Australia all weighed in today successfully. The opening ceremony just finished and the atmosphere was phenomenal. We rest tonight and competition starts tomorrow. Leon has patterns up first thing in the morning.

Wednesday 11th October
Leon completed in Pattern’s today. He received a bye in round 1. He then beat Paraguay 4-1 according to the judges. He then beat Uzbekistan in the round of 32. He met with New Zealand in the quarterfinals and unfortunately lost. He kept his composure and did really well despite it being his least favourite event. Well done Leon.

Thursday 12th October
Leon competed in Special techniques. He touched the front kick at 2.5m but under new rules it needs to bend 45 degrees, so no points were given. He got full points for flying side and turning kicks. He got a technical disqualification for reverse turning kick, even though it looked good – possibly due to the toes being too high. On the last technique, his foot got stuck during takeoff for the midair kick and didn’t score. He was ranked 5th for most of the competition. However, he finished 13th out of 50 competitors with most competitors aged 17 years old. Leon was one of the youngest in the division. Great work Leon.

Saturday 14th October
Leon had sparring today. He unfortunately lost to Belarus. A couple of bad warnings due to poor umpiring, which would’ve changed the end result. Leon was much classier than his opponent but just needed to be a bit more assertive and use the ring a bit better. He was disappointed, but at the same time he has learnt a lot and is hungrier than ever to work on his weaknesses.

Sunday 15th October
Team sparring completed yesterday. Australia lost to Scotland. Leon performed really well in his match but wasn’t enough to give Australia win. The end result was a draw in his fight. The level of competition was very high this year.

Tueday 17th October
Hurricane Ophelia hit Ireland yesterday. Over 250,000 homes without power. 4 people have died due to this hurricane. It is the worst hurricane in 65 years. Leon and I are safe but struggled to travel due to harsh conditions. Flights, buses, taxis trains, lightrails were all cancelled. We were so lucky we found a taxi driver who was headed home to take us to our destination. Dublin was a ghost town yesterday with everything closed and everyone forced to take cover indoors.

Wednesday 18th October
After the Champs, Leon and I were able to travel around Ireland and managed to secure some training with Mr Hong K Looi (5th Dan) of the Irish National Team and Irish Taekwon-Do Association Technical committee. He runs Newbridge Taekwon-Do. He is 2 x European Champion and 3 x World Champion. The training was intense and very informative. He gave us a lot of insight into how we should be training.

Friday 20th October
We attended training at Northstar Taekwon-Do under 6th Dan Instructor and Coach Niall Jones. The club produced multi-World Champion/medalists this year (Adam Shelley, Ryan Shelly, Joanne Potter, Rebecca Mooney, Colm Carroll, Ellen Ince and Cian Ince). It was such a great atmosphere to train in. They are very humble and supportive people. We learnt so much and they train so hard. The bar has been raised.

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