A large contingent of New Zealand ITK Taekwon-Do competitors from around the country are currently descending on Budapest, Hungary for the 2016 ITF Taekwon-Do World Cup, 11-16 October.
Requirements at the World Cup mean that New Zealand athletes are representing their club rather than their nation. However all of the Kiwi athletes know they will be watched carefully after they won the overall team category at the World Championships in Italy last year.
Overall competitor numbers at this year’s world cup are 1840 participants from 56 nations. New Zealand has a total of 34 competitors, five coaches, two of whom are also competing, 23 supporters and two managers.
Some of the top Kiwi competitors include Frances Lloyd from the Silia Club in Tauranga and Melissa Timperley who represents Paul M Club in Papakura, Auckland. Helen Caley represents the Pulse Club from Christchurch, plus there’s Nathan Bowden from Southern Cross Taekwon-Do Academy in Palmerston North, all of who have won world championship medals in the past.
Clubs such as Calibre from the Hauraki Plains in the North Island have three competitors taking part, while Palmerston North has six and there’s a couple from Wellington. Levin and Fielding has four. The traditional strong Auckland-based clubs make up the majority of the individuals who will compete in Budapest.
“With a good mix of competitors, the New Zealand contingent has some great medal prospects and personal bests. In a highly competitive worldwide event with huge entry numbers, the athletes will be matching up against some outstanding opponents in what will be a very challenging environment,” said Jenny Church the New Zealand ‘team’ manager.
The oldest Kiwi competitor is Kerry McEvoy from World Class Taekwon-Do, Auckland at 52 years-old, with Matilda Thompson from the Calibre TKD club in the Hauraki Plains at 48 the oldest female competitor.
The youngest is Reuben Watson who represents the Southern Cross Taekwon-Do Academy out of Palmerston North and is just 12 years old.
The sixth Taekwon-Do world cup will be held 11-16 October in Budapest, Hungary.