26 Local Athletes Medal At National Taekwondo Championships

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Vuong’s Martial Arts in Gambrills recently sent 42 of its athletes to Chicago for the USA Taekwondo National Championships. Out of a total of 4,200 competitors, 26 Vuong’s athletes brought home medals, with nine athletes taking gold, eight taking silver and 15 securing bronze.

The journey to the USA Taekwondo National Championships was not easy and was full of more than a few bumps and bruises; after all, Taekwondo is a contact sport. Beginning in the fall of 2012, tournament training began with extra classes, extra practice and extra conditioning. Week after week, the students worked hard, spending nights and weekends perfecting their techniques and preparing through the winter for the upcoming competitive season.

“It has been a long but exciting road for all of us as students, coaches and parents,” said senior master Chien Vuong. “The practice sessions, the financial and emotional commitments, as well as the wins and losses along the way, have all culminated to bring out the very best in each of us.”

In the spring, the athletes qualified for the 2013 USA Taekwondo (USAT) National Championships by competing and securing medals in a regional USA Taekwondo (USAT) qualifying event.

Medal winners at the USAT National Championships who train at Vuong’s Martial Arts included Sophia Aho (silver in sparring), Bella Anderson (gold in sparring), Sara Arlen (bronze in sparring), Kevin Bimson (bronze in poomsae and silver in sparring), Michael Brandao (bronze in sparring), Corey Cissel (bronze in sparring), Eric Cissel (gold in sparring), Colin Farrell (gold in poomsae and sparring), Dillon Flores (silver in sparring), Connor Frey (gold in poomsae and sparring), Jack Frey (silver in sparring), Jared Hancock (bronze in sparring), Andy Kittleson (bronze in sparring), Jackie Kline (silver in poomsae, gold in sparring), Quinn Morris (silver in sparring), Thomas Nolan (bronze in poomsae), Rafael Ocasio (bronze in sparring), Farrah Peterein (bronze in sparring), Tristen Rogers (silver in poomsae, bronze in sparring), Nasir Shabazz (bronze in poomsae), Chris Smith (silver in poomsae), Jada Stowe (bronze in poomsae), Lucas Tolley (bronze in poomsae), Tyler Vuong (gold in poomsae, bronze in sparring), Aaron Waller (gold in sparring) and Cassius Waller (bronze in poomsae).

These athletes could not have accomplished their goals without the hard work and dedication of Head Coach Michael O’Brien and assistant coaches Cyrus Sadeghian and Eric Musliner.

“With every match and local tournament used as a stepping stone, our students have grown and matured both physically and mentally,” said O’Brien. “It is simply an honor to provide such an invaluable experience to these students as they reach the top and compete at nationals.”

Vuong’s Martial Arts would like to express special thanks to Herve Bonnet of CGI North America Inc. and John Latuperissa of JF Consulting for providing electronic training equipment.

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