2021 ITF Virtual Tournament Winners

Posted by Alex Sorensen 5 months ago

It was out of lockdown and straight into preparing for an international tournament for our students, sixteen taekwondo students from our classes, including Raymond Terrace, Nelson Bay, Minmi and Seaham, shone in the United ITF National Titles with all but two winning or placing in their events.

"We had only been back at training a few weeks after almost three months in lockdown," instructor Michael Omay said. "We are very proud of our team jumping in and giving it a go with such a short time to prepare and still doing extremely well."

The titles, one of the largest International Taekwon-Do Federation events in the country, are typically staged in Melbourne but due to COVID-19 was was run online at the end of November. Students filmed videos of them carrying out patterns and breaks per the requirements of the category they had entered, which were then sent in for judging. Winning students received their medals at the start of December. Moving to an online format opened the titles to even more Australian and international competitors, making the achievements even more special.

Simon Aliendi, who has been practicing martial arts for 10 years, said the tournament "kept taekwondo alive during COVID; it was great to get into a large event like this and represent the Titan team. For our guys to be up against some high level international competitors and come away with some great placings was awesome to see."

Simon placed second in the multibreak black belt (40 years plus) and third in team patterns with fellow Raymond Terrace classmate Chris Streets.

"It was great to get straight back into it right out of lockdown and compete in a tournament of this level. Despite my limited time back at training I did well and I was quite pleased my results," Chris, aged 24, said. He also placed second in multibreak and third in individual pattern (adults black belt).

In his first ever tournament and six months after taking up martial arts, Dale Johnson-Green, 34, from Raymond Terrace placed first in individual pattern for adults. "As a beginner, I was a bit nervous about entering, but I put trust in my instructors faith in me to do well and took the opportunity to enter," he said. "It was challenging and fun, I was quite pleased and surprised to come away with a first place."

Also from Raymond Terrace, Archer Woller, 19, placed first in his multibreak division, third in team and second in individual pattern; Zoe Omay, 18, second in individual pattern and; Riley Vella, 10, third in individual pattern.

From Nelson Bay, Jo Elmer, 46, placed first in her team and individual pattern and second in multibreak categories; Charlotte Elmer, 10, team and individual pattern and second in multibreak; Jerrome Teasdale, 15, third place multibreak and; Amy Burke, 13, first team pattern, second individual pattern, second multibreak.

"My daughter and I were thrilled to continue our training during lockdown with Titan conducting regular Zoom classes," Jo Elmer said. "It kept us in routine and helped us build our skills ready to compete. When the online event came up we jumped at the chance! We had no idea we both would win two gold medals and a silver medal for our efforts."

From Seaham Flynn Elbourne, 9, placed first in individual pattern and; Tim Kerkhof, 16, second in multibreak.