LOCAL martial arts club San Training Centre competed at the Taekwondo national championships held in Brisbane on April 1-2. This event was officially the 2021 national championships that had to be rescheduled due to restrictions last year.
Initially, they had a team of 12 fighters who qualified and planned to compete. Unfortunately, several team members ended up in COVID isolation, and one was injured, so in the end, only seven were able to compete.
The remaining fighters performed well, finishing with 1 Bronze, 3 Silver, and 1 Gold.
Sonia Wearing and Kasia Bartnikowska were eliminated in close fights in the quarter-finals. Red belt fighter Kaitlyn Mcnulty started in the semi-final but lost her initial match to finish with a Bronze.
Blue belt Peter Reid was unmatched in his division, so he moved up a weight class, losing to a much larger opponent to finish with Silver. Christine Bedwell also finished with Silver after winning her semi-final match and losing in the final.
Junior black belt fighter and member of the Queensland high-performance team Charlie Bidgood put in an outstanding performance coming from behind to win in his quarter-final convincingly. He then had a bye in the semi-final before losing a close fight in the finals.
Instructor Cameron Taylor contested the open black belt middleweight division. Initially he was scheduled to compete against a long-time rival and Tokyo Olympian, however, his opponent was unable to attend due to COVID isolation. Instead, a match play was organised with a junior fighter. Cameron won this match that was broadcast on the 7plus app.
There is a big year ahead for members of the San team. Their senior fighters return to overseas competition with trips planned for Sweden, Korea and Tahiti. At the same time, the cadet and junior fighters will be attending national training camps in preparation for world championship selections in June.
Main image: Cameron, Christine, Kaitlyn, Peter and Kasia