Newcomers medal at Victorian Open Champs

June 28, 2017

Koryo taekwondo students (back, from left) Reece McKay, 10, Baden Waters. 11. Jye Tucker, 12, (front, from left) Olympia Lada, 12, and Mia Morzillo, each won medals at the Victorian Open Championships.

Another tournament marked yet another successful outing for Koryo Taekwondo students.

Six youngsters went to the Victorian Open Championships, all returning with at least one medal around their necks.

For Bayden Waters, Mia Borzillo and Hussain Albatat it was their first competition as Olympia Lada, Jye Tucker and Reece McKay led the way with some more experience.

But instructor Sammy Rachele said the newcomers were not found wanting and learned a lot from the championships.

‘‘It’s the best, we don’t force the kids to fight, but the ones that choose to step over that line, there’s nothing more character-building than stepping over the line,’’ he said.

‘‘It helps to be fit and agile and flexible, but at the end of the day mentally you have to be in a good place.’’

Rachele had his young charges in a positive frame of mind with at least six weeks of dedicated training in the lead-up to the tournament this month.

The all ages championships had just six of the 100-strong Koryo contingent compete, with the event open to athletes of all abilities, which Rachele said made the event attractive to newcomers.

‘‘There are not many competitions that allow the yellow belt to compete in, so that’s it for the year for the yellow belts,’’ he said.

‘‘The Vic selections for the nationals are on in a month’s time and they only allow blue belts and upwards.’’

But not all the competitors were yellow belt as Lada claimed a gold at the event having already achieved her black belt.

Achieving entry into the Australian side following a second event, Lada will travel overseas to compete.

In August, taekwondo Olympians and sisters Caroline and Carmen Marton will visit Koryo as the centre aims to start fundraising for Lada’s trip overseas as part of the Australian team for the World Cadet Championships.

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