The New Zealand team for the Taekwondo Commonwealth Championship to be held in Winnipeg, Canada November 21-23 is aiming for medals and looks sets to achieve its goal if all things go to plan.
The team leaves for Canada on the 19th November 2008 and feels they are on target for good results with Matthew Beach, a Beijing Olympian who competed well in China, Dafydd Sanders (the current Oceania champion), and Hayley Schofield the most likely to come away with the precious medal.
At the previous Commonwealth Champs two years ago in Brisbane it was Wellington’s Hayley Schofield, 18 who won gold in the junior heavyweight division while in the senior divisions there were also three silver and one bronze from the remainder of the NZ team.
The competition is significant to the New Zealand team as there will be 35 nations in total due in Winnipeg, a significant increase from Brisbane and an ideal way to gain international experience.
“This is a very important event for our top athletes as they will be up against the very best from Canada and Great Britain in particular,” says Taekwondo New Zealand Secretary General Matt Ransom.
“So this will give them a real head-start when they return for the Oceania Championships two weeks later.”
The New Zealand team have also been invited to be hosted free at a training camp afterwards for four days alongside Australia, Canada and England. The training camp will cover off mental training, nutrition, sparring, physical training, strength training and motivation. This will prove vital for the Kiwi team members who will also compete at the Oceania Championships on their return to Auckland in early December at the YMCA.
The New Zealand team is: Matthew Beach, heavyweight (Wellington), Diana Kasad, bantamweight (Auckland), Hayley Schofield, middleweight (Lower Hutt), Alan Brian, lightweight (Canterbury), Michael Marsh, heavyweight (Auckland), Dafydd Sanders, heavyweight (Auckland), Nicolas Dorman, middleweight (Auckland). Master Jin Keun Oh (coach), Mike Hannah (manager), Bren Dorman (Team Doctor).