A gold rush of medals has New Zealand as the leading nation on the medal table after day one of ITF Taekwon-Do world championships in Jesolo, Italy.
The results from the senior and junior teams are placed together to decide the top nations on the medal table and at the completion of day one New Zealand has five golds, two silver medals and six bronze to place them well ahead of the second nation, Ireland on two gold medals followed by Canada, Norway and Poland rounding out the top five.
The medal table isn’t expected to stay that way with traditional strong nations, Argentina, Germany and Russia certain to come through and challenge New Zealand as the world champs continues.
One of the best events for New Zealand was the female power competition where Tauranga’s Kara Timmer won the gold medal ahead of a Polish competitor with fellow Kiwi Courtney Weir (Papakura, Auckland), finishing third.
Also taking out gold in their competitions were Mangere’s Daniell McMillan in the first dan senior male patterns along with Wesley Filiki from the Pilsung club in Wellington in the senior male power. Palmerston North’s Dane Canton won the third dan male patterns gold.
Frances Lloyd the youngest team member at 15 years-old from the Te Puna Club in Tauranga won gold in the junior specialty event.
Meanwhile Manurewa athlete Melissa Timperley missed out on gold in one of her favoured events, but said there was nothing more she could do as she finished with silver in the women’s third dan patterns after drawing two rounds in the final and losing by one judge in the decider.
“I think we always aim for that top spot. Gold was always the aim and to make it to the final for the second world champs in a row is a great achievement also in my eyes. I couldn’t have done my patterns any differently and it was definitely a very close match it just wasn’t in my favour today,” said Timperley who was beaten in the final by Norway’s Marielle Lind.
A silver medal was also won by Vinu Vijaykumaran from Whangaparoa in the junior male specialty.
Bronze medals were won by Phillipa Henry from the Legacy Club in Auckland for the Senior Dan Patterns. While juniors Auckland juniors Damon Williams and Aidan Cambpell won medals in the junior male sparring and junior male specialty respectively. Maddison Black (Silla club, Tauranga) in junior female specialty and Palmerston North’s Rose Biddiscombe in the junior female specialty all added bronze medals to their teams total.
Over 50 countries are taking part in the tournament with Argentina, Canada, Italy, Norway, Russia, United States and New Zealand all having 50 or more junior and senior athletes competing. The tournament continues until Sunday.
There are four core events: patterns; sparring; power test; special technique. Within each of these events there are both individual and team categories. The categories are further split into junior (under 18) and senior (over 18) classifications, and there are separate male and female divisions. In the case of individual patterns, competitors are further classified by black belt rank, and individual sparring is split into six weight divisions. In addition to the four core events there is also Pre-arranged sparring, which is a pairs competition that has only junior and senior classifications
New Zealand finished second at the 2009 World Champs in Argentina, won the tournament in Wellington in 2011 and was third in Spain in 2013.