Sunday was a fun and also very long day at the London Open Taekwondo Championship in Guildford Spectrum.
It all kicked off around 9.30am and the morning was full of the kids, juniors and adult colour belts doing their patterns and some sparring. As we knew the adult black belts wouldn’t be on for quite a while, so myself and the rest of the ITF England female squad decided to use a spare ring to practise our team patterns. It was a good use of the time and much more comfortable that sitting on the solid stadium seats!
I think it was around 3pm ish that we got on the mats for our individual black belt patterns divisions. The men were on first and James Dilley from Thames Valley TKD earned a bronze medal for the team in the 3rd & 4th degree division. Then I was on for 1st degree female patterns and had a tough first round against a fellow ITF England squad member. I won that and came up against another squad member in the second round, so again had to try my best to make the pattern as technical and powerful as I could. Through that round and I was now in the final against someone I didn’t know. I gave it my all and came away the London Open Champion!
Then after another hour or so we were onto our sparring divisions. I was again in the bigger -64kg division but had been working on lots of improvements since the last competition in Guildford – the English Open, so hoped to perform better. It was a good job I had been putting in the graft as came up in the first round against the same girl Laura, who had beaten me at the English Open. I knew she had a wicked side kick which there was no going through, so I had to counter my way around it. It worked and I won that round. Next round I came up against a well skilled Ireland squad member. Her game plan was to draw me in and counter and she worked it a lot to her advantage in the first round. As she had clearly been watching my new ability to deal with attacking side kicks. So great advice from my coach James Dilley in the break between rounds, meant I came back and got more points in round two, but unfortunately not enough to take the overall points decision. She then went on to win the gold medal and I had earned myself a bronze medal. So same medalling result as the English Open, however I am really pleased with the improvement I have made since then and will continue to keep training hard to improve even more before I return to Guildford again to compete at the UK Open on the 31st October.
It was now about 8pm ish and there was just breaking left. I’ve been practising it a bit more, but not as much as possible as have been devoting more time to my patterns and sparring. So I unfortunately I didn’t break the qualifier, but did earn a nice bruise on my arm from trying the elbow strike break – opps!
Here is myself, a few other Thames Valley TKD competitors, Josh and Kayla and our instructor Master Whitely with our medals!
I’ll now go back to my coaches and look over the footage and work out what the most important things are to work on ahead of the World Championships in only 7 weeks time!
Well done to everyone else from Thames Valley TKD who competed on the day, I think between us there was a big hoard of medals!