Last weekend (18-19 June) the British National Championships took place at the Velodrome in Manchester.
It was a well attended event where British players from all corners of the UK had an opportunity to showcase their talents.
Our National Performance Coach, Master Nikos Jakubiak, was at the event to watch all Scottish players who took part and keep note of those who may have the potential to develop into World Class fighters and represent the UK at the Olympic Games!
Master Nikos was very pleased with some of the performances he saw and returned very positive about Scotland’s prospects of producing World Class players. He comments: “I was very impressed with some of the performances I saw here and rather pleasantly surprised with how well some new Scottish fighters did against players from other home Nations who had much more experience. It was great to see more Scottish clubs taking part and doing so with players who made us all excited about the future of Scottish sport Taekwondo. Considering some of the great displays we witnessed from some of the Scottish cadets and children I am now confident we have the raw talent we need to develop formidable players of World Class calibre”.
In the children female category, Jordyn Smith (10) (Central) followed up her recent gold medal win at the Luxembourg Open with a successful defence of her British title. Jordyn won her way through to the final convincingly and used all her experience of competing at the top level to see off her final opponent by 3 points to 2.
In the cadet male group, Kristian Kinnon (Central) was far too fast and powerful for his opponents. His final match was stopped by the referee after 70 seconds with Kristian 11 points ahead!
In the junior males, Christopher Sweeten (Central) won three matches to become British Champion and is now in the running to represent the UK at the Junior European Championships in Cyprus in October.
Stuart Wright (Cumbrae), our assistant NT Development Coach; put in an excellent performance, getting to the final of the veterans +80KG
after winning his first match 6-1 and his second match 10-3.
Despite being in the lead 6-2 in the final Stuart had to retire on medical advice due to injury.
Master Nikos would like to make a special mention of Sami-Ulla (Sokcho), a colour belt who in his first ever game at a National Championship competed superbly. Up against Nathan Hall, a multiple National Champion and for many years a GB National team full time player, Sami’s performance was a wonderful display of indomitable spirit from which many other players could learn from.
Another special mention goes to Master David Bailey who competed once more after having retired in 1993. For the first time, the national championships included veteran divisions. Master Bailey is 50 this year and, despite “veteran” being over 35, he came out of retirement to experience the excitement of competing once again.
His last tournament was eighteen years ago at the World Championships at Madison Square Gardens, New York. After three very tough matches, Master Bailey scored a classic late head shot in the final to take the British Title with a win by 8 to 4.
As a result of his victory, he now hopes to be selected to represent Team GB at the European Masters Games (EMG) in Italy in September. The EMG is like the Olympics for veterans, with Taekwondo being included for the first time amongst the 27 sports being contested.
Master David Bailey’s enthusiasm and passion for the sport is an inspiration to us all.
We should always keep in mind that the ultimate goal of the high performance programme in place is to produce players who can represent the UK at the Olympics. Although, sadly, there are no Scots in contention for a place in the GB team for the 2012 Olympics, we are left reassured that talented players who can compete at the next Olympics have already been spotted and Master Nikos, together with his coaching team shall make sure they are nurtured appropriately.
All the results and medallists from the British National Championships can be found on the BTCB website (the UK wide National governing body for WTF Taekwondo).