The New Zealand team for the 2013 Taekwondo World Championship to be held in Benidorm, Spain has settled in nicely for the tournament which begins in a two days time.
The team will bid to defend its current title at the world’s top Taekwondo nation and features multi world champion Carl Van Roon a multi world champion.
Van Roon, who is now based in Australia was the overall male champion at the last world championships with five gold medals and also models professionally, has a university degree and coaches as well.
“This will be my sixth time representing New Zealand at the biannual International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) World Championships. I attended my first world championships in Warsaw, Poland in 2003.”
“There are other world tournaments we attend during those years in which there is no world championship, but only once every two years does the world championship itself bring together the highest level of competition in the ITF,” says Van Roon.
So after being on the world scene for so long does he still feel excitement as he gets ready for this world championship?
“Yes I’m still looking forward to it and it still excites me to be here and to compete for my country. However I also derive what is possibly a deeper sense of satisfaction from helping others achieve their goals, and as such I have been working closely alongside national team athletes both in New Zealand and Australia in the preparation for this world championships.”
New Zealand was the top nation at the 2011 World Championships which were held in Wellington and a large amount of preparation and planning has gone in to the team for this year as well.
“Everything is very well organized with great training facilities at the hotel and great food and good choices for those trying to cut weight,” says Master Paul McPhail the team High Performance Manager.
“We are positive about the tournament, although realistic as this is the biggest ever ITF World Champs with huge teams from many countries. Weigh in is tomorrow which is always a bit milestone for those who need to lose weight for sparring divisions. Overall the team are healthy and positive, and very excited about the competition.”
It is expected that Argentina and Poland will be two of the biggest challengers to New Zealand’s title bid.