Our national team got reacquainted with the international Taekwondo scene at the Sofia Open this month and the first international event in two years for the Australian team.
The team of 10, led by Seokhun Lee and Safwan Khalil, who has been acting as interim coach since late 2021, have been going head-to-head with some of Europe’s best Taekwondo athletes.
Day three of competition saw Will Afonczenko and Liam Sweeney made it through to R32, Damon Cavey and Tamzin Christoffel R16, while Leon Sejranovic and Saffron Tambyrajah fought through to the quarter-finals. Leon missed out on a medal by a point, while Saffron was up against an Olympic champion in her final fight.
Anastasia Typou won three fights to progress to the semi-finals, and although withdrawing from her semi-final fight due to an injury sustained in the quarter-finals, she returns home with a bronze medal, her first senior international medal.
Day four saw Reba Stewart, Bailey Lewis, and Tyrone Staben all take to the mats for the final day. Tyrone made it through to R16, while Reba and Bailey ended their euro campaign in the quarter finals.
Also so competing, in addition to the National Performance Centre (NPC) team, were Rebecca Murray and Ambrosia Landsberg from Edge Taekwondo Brisbane.
The NPC team will now head to France to train at the National Institute of Sport, Expertise, and Performance (INSEP) before heading to Lommel in Belgium for the Belgium Open on March 19. The team will then return home to prepare for the Australian Taekwondo National Championships on April 1, 2022.
The Sofia Open saw over 62 countries represented and more than 1500 participants. Australian NPC team representatives include Bailey Lewis (City West Taekwondo, VIC), Damon Cavey (Whiteways Taekwondo, SA), Reba Stewart (Halls Taekwondo, VIC), Tamzin Christoffel (One Taekwondo School, QLD), Tyrone Staben (Adelaide Taekwondo Academy, SA), Leon Sejranovic (Notorious Martial Arts, VIC), Saffron Tambyrajah (Notorious Martial Arts, VIC), Will Afonczenko (Notorious Martial Arts, VIC), Liam Sweeney (One Taekwondo School, QLD) and Anastasia Typou (Halls Taekwondo, VIC).
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