Trenic TKD at the ITF World Championships 2016
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After an intense year of National qualifiers, squad and regional training 22 members from the Trenic Taekwon-do Academy were selected to compete at the ITF World Championships in Brighton, England. Following an intense 8 week training schedule of fitness, conditioning and sparring drills, the team were look fit, strong and ready to compete.

After a jaw dropping opening ceremony with displays ranging from world class singers to flawless dancers and gymnasts the competition was ready to commence with Grand Master Nicholls declaring the event officially open.

Day one and it was time for our youngest competitors Laurence Liboro and Karen Abu-Abdallah to take to the ring. What they were lacking in experience they were certainly making up for with determination and enthusiasm. Drawing tough opponents in the first round we knew this was not going to be easy. With Lawrence instructed to stay light on his feet and throw sharp combinations he was able to dominate the round and take an early win. Moving swiftly into the finals Lawrence Faced a well drilled opponent from Russia. With the score card too close to call, the crowd were on their feet waiting in anticipation to hear the result. Unfortunately this was not to be Lawrence’s day conceding the win however taking a well-earned silver medal.

It was a similar story for Karen Abu-Abdallah who after a well fought fight against the taller Argentinian opponent was unable to secure the win, however took a silver medal in the hyper weight pre-junior division. This was a great experience for the newly promoted black belt and we are sure that this will only leave her more fired up for the next big event.

Up next and looking to continue the medal hall were our -16year juniors. Competing in this division were Balaj Hussain, Dolci Grove, Katie Hetherington, Ryan Meredith, Leonard Liboro and Jason Morrison.

The first competitor to take to the ring was Leonard Liboro. Competing in his first international event, Leonard stepped up, unfazed by the occasion. After a very strong start to his sparring campaign, and showing the heart of a champion it was perhaps his lack of experience that resulted in him taking an early loss. Leonard will certainly be one to watch out for in the near future.

With moral low, we needed a strong win to turn the tides. Called up next was Balaj Hussain in the hyper weight division. From the start Balaj came out strong, it was clear he was here to win. Into the second round and a well-timed kick followed by a flurry of punches left his opponent unable to continue. One fight down and one to go….Facing a heavier opponent from Canada, Balaj knew he had to outwork his opponent and stay at rang. After comfortably taking the first round Balaj began to relax, demonstrating a master class in Taekwon-Do sparring. As the final bell was called Balaj was crowned World Junior Champion.

Looking to follow in similar fashion was current European champ Dolci Grove. After dominating her first opponent with direct punches and a strong lead leg turning kicks, Dolci was looking focused and fired up for her final bout against the equally talented Czech fighter. Dolci was instructed to be patient and work of her lead side-kick to the body to set her up for using her hands. Fortunately the tactics paid off and with a strong side kick Dolci was able to stop the Czech fighter and cause her to throw in the towel. Congratulations go out to Dolci for taking top spot on the podium and a second world title for Trenic TKD.

Up next was Katie Hetherington in the 1st Degree patterns division.  Matching her Argentinian opponent on both strength and technique we knew this was going to be a hard call. With the first pattern done and a split decision by the referees, Katie knew she had to step up and perform to her best ability.  After completing her pattern to the raw of the crowd, Katie was unfortunately left with a loss by split decision. This however only left her more fired up for the sparring. Cruising through her first fight Katie met a similar fighter to herself from Kyrgyzstan. Matching each other kick for kick this was once again going to be a tough call for the judges. Although showing heart and determination Katie was unable to take the gold and had to settle for a well fought silver medal.

After a good night’s rest we all returned to the venue early morning ready to continue where we left off. First to be called was Ryan Meredith.  In the light weight division Ryan was looking strong, outworking and controlling his first opponent. Working his way to the finals Ryan was faced off against an old rival Joel Cassar (also from Team UK). Confidently stepping on the ring, Ryan was ready to take the title. Battling through two tough rounds and trading blow for blow, the fight was a true pleasure to watch. Unfortunately for Ryan the decision went to fellow team member Joel. Still a great fight from both and we look forward to watching them meet again in the near future.

Up next and eager to compete was Jason Morrison in the welter weight sparring division. Winning the ITF World Championships in Rome as a pre-junior, we all knew stepping up to the -16years category was always going to be a tough leap. Although fighting will skilful kicks and well timed counter attacks this was unfortunately not to be a repeat of the previous World Championships. We are sure Jason will be back, bigger, faster, stronger and more motivated for the next challenge ahead of him.

Our penultimate junior to compete for Trenic was the well-established fighter Harry Evans. With World and European titles to his name, Harry was raring to add once again another gold medal to his collection. Now competing in the hyper weight division where he would be met with equally strong opponents we knew this would be no push over. After a solid first fight against a very leggy Canadian opponent Harry was then paired against a skilful counter attacker from Italy. With tactics set to blitz his opponent and force him to make mistakes, Harry was drawing the match at the end of the first bell. As the second round progressed Harry was unfortunate in receiving a number of warnings, resulting in the score favouring the Italian opponent. Although devastated with his first loss in over 3 years, Harry has already found himself back down the gym ironing out the weaknesses, the sign of a true professional fighter.

Our final competitor to take to the ring was Tate Budge, Reigning World and European Champion now competing in the 3rd Degree tul division. With precise and powerful technique, Tate dominated over his competitors to take yet another gold medal to add to his growing collection.

It was then onto our adults to compete. With anticipation and adrenaline filling the room the atmosphere was one of suspense. Competing in the 4th degree male patterns were Jamie McAvoy and Reece Nicholls.  In a division packed with talent and experience both Jamie and Reece knew this was going to be tough and nothing less than perfect would do.  Progressing through the rounds and growing in confidence, Jamie was able to secure a well-deserved bronze medal with Reece falling just short of the podium.

Up next in the 5th Degree patterns was current world and European Champion Matthew Brunger and experienced competitor Gav Sidhu. Against tough competitors both Matthew and Gav earned their place in the semi-Finals. This was however not to be an all-England final with Gav narrowly losing to a very accomplished competitor from Team USA. Looking to make up for Gav’s loss and take the World title once again, Matthew faced USA in a nail biting final. With both choice and designated patterns performed the referee stepped to the ring to raise Matthew’s hand and name him the 2016 5th Dan World Champion.

Also looking to add to the medal tally in the ladies divisions were Gemma O’Connor, Gurlaine Sidhu and Prit Sidhu. After a strong start from both Gemma and Gurlaine they were both unable to make it all the way to the finals, taking bronzes in a very talented division. Prit was representing in the 5th Degree division and after what was a very disappointed run in the 2014 World Championships was looking to reset the records. Going strong Prit advanced to the finals against a Canadian opponent. Although Prit performed well she was pipped to the gold medal but left happy with the silver medal.

Patterns finished, it was then time to move onto the sparring divisions. Looking to set the standard for the day was Jamie McAvoy and Ryan Hamdy in the micro weight division. Current world champion Jamie came out looked sharp from the onset, dropping his opponent with a clean body shot in the first round. Ryan Hamdy followed in similar fashion using his strength and fitness to out-work his opponent.  Moving into the second round Jamie faced a fast and agile Argentinian competitor. Using his ring craft and well timed shots Jamie was able to throw the Argentinian of his game plan and comfortably take the win. For Ryan, his next opponent was the heavier Canadian fighter. Staying alert and throwing sharp shots, Ryan was able to keep his opponent missing and as the final bell rung Ryan took his second win by unanimous decision.  Unfortunately Ryan was unable to make it to the final losing narrowly to the taller Argentinian fighter who would later face Jamie in the finals. With 4minutes and an Argentinian in his way of taking his second world title, Jamie was eager to enter the ring. Dominating from the start Jamie demonstrated the true values of a world class fighter clinching the decision in spectacular fashion.

Up next for Team Trenic was Lee Hollingsworth in the light weight division. After a close fought silver in the Rome World Championships Lee was keen to get back onto the mats. Facing once again his talented rival from Argentina, Lee’s leg speed and accuracy gave him an early lead in the fight. As the bout progressed into its final stages, the contest was too close to call resulting in a draw and 1 extra round being added. Although exchanging kick for kick and punch for punch, the Argentinian took the decision by the narrowest of margins, progressing through the competition to top spot on the podium. Lee although disappointed took a respectable bronze medal.

Also fighting in the light weight division was Aaron Mather. Dominating as a junior and taking the World title back in Rome 2014 we all knew the jump from junior to adult would not come easy. After a solid performance in his first fight Aaron was unfortunate to take a loss in the second round in which matched up to be a very close contested bout. This was a great experience for Aaron and we look forward to watching him as he matures in age and as a competitor. 

In the middleweight division both Gav Sidhu and Reece Nicholls had qualified and had their eyes on the gold medal. With well-timed counter attacks and head rattling side-kicks both Reece and Gav outclassed their opposition earning themselves a place in all England final. They say styles make fights and this was no exception. Reece’s relentless style of fighting against Gavs text book counter-attacks made for a real crowd pleaser. As the final bell was called, Reece took the decision in was a well worthy gold medal bout.

The last men to compete were Martyn Porter and Matthew Brunger in the heavy weight division. Against a very awkward fighter from Germany, Martyn battled through the rounds however took an unfortunate loss. Up next was Matthew Brunger. Moving up from middle to heavy he knew this would pose new challenges for him. Against Canada in his first fight Matthew used good timed punches to keep his opponent on the back foot and out the fight. Progressing into the next contest Matt faced an experienced fighter from Italy. In a chess game match up both Matt and his opponent looked to draw one another in for a well-timed counter attack. Unfortunately Matt was not to win this contest leaving him even more fired up for the team sparring along with team mate Martyn.

With the men done, it was down to our ladies to then bring home the gold….which they did in spectacular fashion. The first gold came by way of heavy weight sparring. Gemma, the current European sparring champion battled her way through 3 tough rounds before facing Australia in the finals. Looking to dominate with power kicks Gemma kept her game plan simple to take her first world title and top spot on the podium.

This was a similar story for Laurie Cornwell who in the middle weight division used her power to dominate and control the ring. Facing a very proficient kicker in the final fight, Laurie looked to close the distance and use accurate punches to throw the Greek fighter of her game. As the final round was called to an end Trenic saw its second lady take top spot on the podium and the Wold Title back home.

The final medal for our ladies came by way of Gurlaine Sidhu in the light weight division.  Facing tough opponents and with a forward fighting style, Gurlaine was able to secure herself a well-deserved bronze medal narrowly losing to the experienced Argentinian fighter who went on to take the gold.

Great sparring performances were also put in by Prit Sidhu and Jay Gilbert however neither lady was able to secure the win, falling just short of the podium.

Trenic TKD would also like to congratulate the following students that were privileged to be selected to compete as part of the 5 member team in their respective categories;

Matthew Brunger, Jamie McAvoy, Reece Nicholls, Martyn Porter, Laurie Cornwell, Gemma O’Connor, Jay Gilbert, Prit Sidhu, Gurlaine Sidhu, Harry Evans, Balaj Hussain, Tate Budge, Ryan Meredith, Dolci Grove, Katie Hetherington.




GOLD Sparring

SILVER patterns


BRONZE Sparring

Bronze Patterns



GOLD Sparring

BRONZE Patterns



SILVER Sparring

SILVER Patterns

SILVER Special

GOLD Power



Jamie McAvoy (GOLD Sparring/Bronze Patterns)

Men’s Overall Team (Gold Sparring/Silver Patterns)

Written by: Trenic TKD - 9th September 2016

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