Australia has enjoyed some strong performances at the Korean Open, which kicked off in Chuncheon this week.
Bailey Lewis (City West Taekwondo, VIC), will return home with a bronze medal after fighting through to the semi-final on day one. Lewis lost the third round on superiority after scores were tied at the end to finish on the podium with a bronze after an excellent performance.
Liam Sweeney Liam Sweeney (One Taekwondo School, QLD) defeated Saudi Arabia in R32 (2-0), followed by Iran and the WR3 in 74kg in R16 (2-0). Sweeney lost the opening round by a single point and the second round on superiority after scores were tied. Despite the loss, this was another solid performance and added experience.
Tyrone Staben (Adelaide Taekwondo Academy, SA) and Rebecca Murray (Edge Taekwondo, QLD) both suffered defeats. Staben was defeated by the eventual silver medallist from Korea in R32 (2-0), while Murray exited after R16 (2-0), going down to China.
On day two, another bronze was in the bag when Saffron Tambyrajah (Notorious Martial Arts, VIC) took to the mat, ending her semi-final (2-0) against the WR20 from Korea to step onto the podium and Australia's second bronze.
Will Afonczenko (Notorious Martial Arts, VIC) lost to India (2-1) in R32, Tom Afonczenko (Notorious Martial Arts, VIC) defeated Pakistan (2-1) in R32 and lost to China (2-1) in R16. Leon Sejranovic (Notorious Martial Arts, VIC) defeated Korea (2-1) in R16 and lost to China (2-0) in the quarter-final. Katinka Penketh (Martial Fitness Aust, VIC) was a late withdrawal.
Pathways athletes have also had the opportunity to experience the world stage this week, like Lauren Stevenson and Ali Mack from Martial Arts Spirit in NSW.
Stevenson won her first fight to beat Korea but lost her next battle to an Olympic Gold medallist from Thailand. Mack also had success against Korea in his first fight but lost to Afghanistan in his second fight.
The opportunities these events present to our up and coming athletes are critical in their development, and we'd like to acknowledge and thank the clubs and members who worked on fundraising to assist their athletes on their quest to compete in Korea.
Together, CombatAUS and Australian Taekwondo provide contemporary technical leadership to ensure the strategic direction of Taekwondo in Australia excels. To learn more about pathway progression, please click here.