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Trenic Gladiators take gold at Rome 2014 World Championships
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Trenic Gladiators take gold at Rome 2014 World Championships

After weeks of intense training the time had finally come for Trenics best to travel out to Rome to compete in the 2014 World Championships. With a strong and highly motivated team of 15 competitors we set to embark on the road to Rome, fit, focused and determined to win!!!!

Landing early Monday morning gave our team two full days to relax and recharge before the event began. We were fortunate to be able to site see Rome and even seek some last minute inspiration as our team of tkd gladiators explored the coliseum.

Wednesday quickly rolled around and was time for the weigh-in to take place. The reason we had given so much blood, sweat and tears soon became apparent as we watched the best of the best from all corners of the world turn up in their masses to register The thought of competing at the world championships was quickly feeling very real.

Thursday morning and time to get down to business! With the junior and cadets competing first the adults were able to sit back, encourage and impart some much needed competition wisdom onto the newest members of our team.  Representing Trenic under the UKITF banner was Aaron Mather, Harry Evans and Jason Morrison. After an early and disappointing loss for Aaron in the 2nd degree Tul division the juniors were eager to prove their worth, and did so in spectacular fashion. Called up first to spar was the youngest member of the team Jason Morrison. Wowing the crowd Jason was not fazed by the occasion, and with well-timed punches and strong lead leg side-kicks secured gold against very worthy competitor, kick starting Trenics medal haul.

Up next and looking to continue in Jasons footsteps was Harry Evans. Competing in the -55kg category we knew the division was going to be tough, but Harry had not come here to lose. Out strengthening his first opponent from Albania Harry began to grow in confidence and against a skilful Argentinian in the final was able to follow his game plan and claim the second gold for our team.

2 juniors 2 new World Champions.  The pressure was now on Aaron to complete the full house. After a first round loss in Canada 2012 Aaron has been working hard in his training which most defiantly paid of this time around. Against an old rival in the final from Argentina, Aaron kept his composure and against what seemed to be an unbeatable opponent made him look very ordinary throughout the first round. Settling into his performance, Aaron controlled the 2nd round leading with strong sidekicks and countering with jump punches. 3 juniors 3 new World Champions.

Day one of the championships was finally over and a very solid start for Trenics World Championship campaign. After a good nights rest it was time for the adults to step up and follow the lead of our junior team. Performing patterns for the men was Jamie McAvoy, Reece Nicholls and Matthew Brunger. Unfortunately it was not to be for Jamie and Reece who had to accept losses against very talented competition. With just Matthew left, he battled his way through the division and facing Argentina in the final was looking good to win. Losing the first round, Matt had to perform 100% in the second round if he wanted to take the gold. After a drawn out decision from the umpires Matt was crowed World V Degree Patterns champion!!

 The second gold to be earned in patterns was Laurie Cornwell in the female V Degree division. After a shaky start Lauries power and correct technique shone through and earned her the title of world Champion. The final medal in patterns came from Prit Sidhu who made it all the way to the final in a very talented category. Unfortunately Prit had to retire due to a server knee injury however was happy to take a well-deserved silver medal.

As Competition day three commenced our adults were focused and determined to improve upon the results from the previous day. Padded up and set to go the team was ready to take on the world. Up first was Jamie McAvoy the current Micro Weight European Champ. Battling his way to a silver medal in the 2012 Worlds, Jamie had been training hard with a new found focus and determination to win. Progressing through 4 tough rounds Jamie was crowned the micro-weight champion of the world, another result to add to his growing haul of titles.

Up next was Reece Nicholls. Again being the current European champion set him is good stead for the world title. However, with the current champ in his pathway to the gold Reece knew he would have to fight smart and not be drawn into the experienced fighters game. With the support of Gavinder Sidhu coaching in his corner and crowd of supporters cheering on, Reece dug deep, fought hard and was announced the new welter weight champion of the world.

Looking to keep the success rolling and secure a second gold under his belt was Matthew Brunger.  Against a tough Polish Fighter in the opening round Matts Style allowed him to out-time his opposition and win him the bout. Earning his place in the finals, Matt saw himself facing an experienced Moldova team fighter for the top spot on the podium. Matt entered the ring fired up yet composed and after 30 seconds of the fight caught the experienced Moldovan  with a sharp turning kick to the body leaving him unable to continue. Another gold for Matt and the Trenic Team.

The final man to carry the Trenic flag was Lee Hollingsworth.  Outclassing his first opponent Lee went into the second round confident and stopped his fighter early into the first round. Lee was then faced with the 2012 world champion Paul Manning. After a close first round Lee was able to work out his opponent and comfortably take the win. Another Trenic man in the final and against the slick Argentinian we knew this was going to make for a great spectacle.  Leading the fight into the second round, the gold was in sight. Unfortunately this was not to be and as the final bell rung Lee was struck down with a warning causing the decision to flip in the favour of the Argentinian, still a great achievement from such a world class competitor.

Representing Trenic ladies were Gurlaine Sidhu, Gemma OConnor, Laurie Cornwell and Jay Gilbert. Up first was Laurie Cornwell. An experienced competitor, we were all looking forward to watching Lauries fast paced, intimidating style of sparring. Against USA in the first round Laurie looked to stomp her authority on the competition, and after 2 explosive rounds left her opponent bewildered and out of the fight. Through to next round and still looking strong Laurie was met by a very technical fighter from Argentina. This was another fast paced hard hitting bout which unfortunately left Laurie having to concede.

The next fighter to step up was Gemma OConnor in the heavy weight category. Similar to Laurie Gemma pressured her opponent out of the first fight, leaving her opposition with an early night. The next bout however posed new problems for Gemma as they matched one another kick for kick and punch for punch. The results showed Gemma having to accept a close loss however was happy to have earned a bronze medal. At 20 years of age this is just the start of her adult career and I am sure we have not seen the last of her yet.

Similarly Jay Gilbert and Gurlaine Sidhu were met by tough, experienced fighters in the early rounds and although putting up a great fight were left down on the score cards and had to accept that this was not to be their year. Im sure this upset will only make them train harder and leave them more determined than ever to take the title next time around!!!!!!

With the individual categories coming to an end it was now time for the team events. After a fantastic tournament for Aaron, he then had the honour of representing England in the junior team. With a newly formed squad we knew this would be a challenge for the young athletes however they took it in their stride as they prepared to compete. With a strong coaching team behind them working hard to organise and give direction to the team, they earned bronze medals in both patterns and sparring and a silver medal in special technique. Well done boys.

Gemma OConnor, Laurie Cornwell and Jay Gilbert were similarly selected to represent England as part of the 5 person adult team. Digging deep and fighting hard against some of the best competitors in the world, the ladies secured 3rd place in special, power and patterns.

As the competition came to an end and medals were presented Trenic student Matthew Brunger who medalled gold in patterns and sparring was presented the overall adult male competitors. We would all like to applaud Matthew and the whole team for not only their results at the competition but their hard training, determination and support for one another in the build up to the event.

With World Championships over the team was able to take a much needed rest and reflect upon the highs and lows of the tournament. The hard work however was just starting for Martyn Porter, Gavinder Sidhu and Dolci Grove who after a long week of waiting around began psyching themselves up for the much anticipated World Cup. With a late entry of over 30 Argentinian competitors we knew the event was going to be tough but with the support of the UK team behind them were eager to start. Up first was Dolci Grove. Narrowly missing out on the World Championships selection process this was her opportunity to impress, and that she most certainly did. In closely contested matches Dolci secured silver in her Patterns division. This was a great start to her campaign, giving her a much needed confidence boost stepping into the sparring. Entered in the -16yrs category, the odds were against the talented 11year old, however she knuckled down fought hard and won a well-deserved silver medal, beating an Argentinian and Malaysian competitor in the process. With such natural ability at such a young age, I am sure she will be one to watch out for in the future.

Similarly missing out on the selection process were Martyn Porter and Gavinder Sidhu. In tough divisions both Gavinder and Martyn won silver in sparring against tough opposition from Argentina and Russia. I am sure this will give them the drive and determination to train hard and work their way in the UK TEAM for next years European Championships.

We would like to send our thanks and appreciation to the UKITF coaching team, administration team and umpires who worked tirelessly prior to and throughout the event ensuring our trip and competition ran smoothly. We would also like to thank Master Nicholls and Master Rauli for their continual help and support for our Club and Region, whom without the successes we achieve would not be possible.

Written by: Trenic TKD - 7th August 2014

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