7 October 2022

Tahiti Wrap: Gold Rush for Aussies in Pepe'ete

Australian Taekwondo’s senior, junior and cadet athletes have returned with some extra hardware after a highly successful trip to Tahiti.

From 30 September to 2 October, Australia’s Kyorugi and Poomsae specialists lit up the Salle Omnisports Henri Christian Helme, as they competed in the WT President’s Cup (Oceania), Oceania Kyorugi Championships, Oceania Poomsae Championships, Tahiti Open and the Oceania Poomsae Taekwondo Open.

National Coach, Dongmin Cha, also received an award during the trip for assisting the Tahitian MNA in the development of athletes from the pacific region.

Here are all of the big winners from Tahiti.

WT President’s Cup (Oceania)

Senior Kyorugi winners

Seven national team members and additional NPC athletes made it through to the quarter-finals.

Bailey Lewis added another Oceania Championship gold to his mantlepiece, defeating Ben Camua (silver) in the men’s -58kg final.

Matthew Summerfield won gold in the men’s -68kg, defeating the national team’s Tom Afonczenko (bronze) in the semi-final, and Fred Pace (silver) in the final.

NPC athlete Liam Sweeney secured gold in the men’s -80kg with a win over Leon Sejranovic (silver) in the final. Tyrone Staben also impressed in the men’s +80kg, securing his first senior Oceania Championship gold.

Saffron Tambyrajah won the women’s -49kg category, with Juliet Lahood clinching silver.

Tokyo Olympian Stacey Hymer led Australia’s dominance of the women’s -57kg division, defeating Jessica Borg (silver) in the final, while Giuliana Masiello won bronze.

Rebecca Murray took out gold in the women’s -67kg, with Amber Heslop winning silver and Hannah Kiefer earning bronze.

There were also gold, silver and bronze medals for the Aussies in the women’s +67kg division. Reba Stewart defeated Grace Kiefer (bronze) and Emily Stellino (silver) to clinch gold.

Poomsae winners

National team:

David King, male under 60 (recognised poomsae – individual), gold
Sara Wong, female cadet (recognised poomsae - individual), gold

Other Aussies:

Tae Yung Song, male over 17 (freestyle poomsae – individual) and male under 30 (recognised poomsae – individual), gold
Carmelo Tarascio, male under 50 (recognised poomsae – individual), gold

Junior Kyorugi winners

National team:

Jake Buhagiar, male -55kg, gold
Jobe Stewart, male -73kg, silver

Other Aussies:

Lachlan Orchard, male -63kg, silver
Aaron Choy, male -63kg, gold
Sally Heslop, female -55kg, gold

Cadet Kyorugi winners

National team:

Jack Orchard, male -44kg, gold

Oceania Championships

Senior Kyorugi winners

Bailey Lewis dominated the men’s -58kg, while Tom Afonczenko won gold in the -68kg division. Leon Sejranovic (gold) also defeated Liam Sweeney (silver) in the men’s -80kg final.

The finals of the women’s -49kg, -57kg and +67kg divisions were mirror images of the President’s Cup finals. Saffron Tambyrajah won gold in the -49kg, with Juliet Lahood winning silver. Stacey Hymer (gold) and Jessica Borg medalled in the -57kg, while Reba Stewart and Emily Stellino won gold and silver at +67kg. Rebecca Murray also won gold in -67kg category.

Poomsae winners

National team:

David King, male under 60 (recognised poomsae – individual), gold
Sara Wong, female Cadet (recognised poomsae - individual), gold

Other Aussies:

Carmelo Tarascio, male under 50 (recognised poomsae – individual), gold

Junior Kyorugi winners

National team:

Jake Buhagiar, male -55kg, gold
Jobe Stewart, male -73kg, gold
Hannah Kiefer, female +63kg, silver

Some Aussie athletes who qualified for the Championships after winning gold at the President’s Cup, were also among the winners:

Sally Heslop, female -55kg, gold
Aaron Choy, male -63kg, gold

Cadet Kyorugi Winners

Jack Orchard, male -44kg, gold

Tahiti Open

Senior Kyorugi winners

Our seniors concluded a successful international campaign with the following gold medals:

Leon Sejranovic, men’s -80kg, gold
Juliet Lahood, women’s -49kg, gold
Stacey Hymer, women’s -57kg, gold
Jessica Borg, women’s -62kg, gold
Emily Stellino, women’s -73kg, gold

Ben Camua also won gold in the men’s -58kg division, while Olivia Roberts won gold in the Women’s -67kg division, where Rebecca Murray claimed silver.

Oceania Taekwondo Poomsae Open winners

National team:

David King, Male over 50 (recognised poomsae – individual), gold

Other Aussies:

Tae Yung Song, male under 30 (recognised poomsae – individual and creative poomsae – individual), gold

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