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Warm Up for Worlds

Posted on: 04.07.13
Posted by: GTUK Admin


With two world championships coming up later in the year, members of the GTUK England Squad took this opportunity to sharpen up their ring skills with other groups within the Unified International Taekwon-do Federation. This event, organised by the Heart of England Taekwon-do group, took place in the town of Alfreton in north Derbyshire.

There were lots of different groups from England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. The GTUK contingent was one of the largest, with competitors in most categories.

The nine squares were quickly up and running, with the very young and erm... not quite so young competitors getting underway. The GTUK was soon amongst the medals with many of the juniors and peewees picking up medals for both patterns and sparring. Meanwhile, many of the core squad members had their attention firmly focussed on the veteran male, third degree and above category. This featured not only one of the GTUK’s newest fourth degrees in Mr Darren Twelvetree, but also heralded the return to competition of England Squad head coach, Mr Richard Auciello.

I think it’s fair to say that even the former world champion, once known as the baby-faced assassin, was a little nervous about stepping back onto a square after such a long absence. But it was soon clear that both of our competitors were more than a match for their opponents, with Mr Auciello, winning two gold medals, after beating Mr Twelvetree in a high energy sparring final.

 As the day continued, it was clear that the rest of the squad had been inspired by these early successes. The GTUK continued to pick up medals throughout the day in patterns and sparring. The low ceiling of the venue and the passion of the supporters added to the intensity of the situation; giving squad members invaluable experience of performing under pressure. This can only have toughened their mental armour ahead of the two forthcoming world championships.

There was one final highlight of the day, as Steve Marshall of GTUK Stamford showed off his jumping kick prowess in the special technique competition. His flying turning kick sent half of the board soaring about ten metres across the hall, narrowly missing Mr Gary Bradshaw, the host of the event. We are all keen for the GTUK to make an impression, but that’s not exactly what we had in mind.

Overall, the GTUK can be proud of its achievements at this event, with 57 competitors bringing home a total of 75 medals. There are tougher challenges to come, but the squad – and the association as a whole – is definitely moving in the right direction. In the words of Mr Auciello, “onwards and upwards”!

We would like to thank Mr Bradshaw and his organizing team for the opportunity to compete at his championships. 

Charlie Cox III  (Press Officer)

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