ITF World Championships, Jesolo Italy - 2/7/2015

A small but select group from T-UK clubs attended the 19th Senior and 13th Junior ITF World Championships that took place in Jesolo in Italy from 27th to 31st May 2015.  Alex Marshall and Gregor Towers from Scotia were part of the ITF Scotland team. Romy Mottershead and Izzy Brider from the Trident TKD Academy represented ITF England. The Championships attracted 1019 competitors from 53 countries comprising 586 seniors and 433 juniors.  ITF England took a large contingent of 79 competitors, coaches, officials, umpires and spectators.  At the outset I place on record thanks to the organising committee and all the umpires and officials that allowed for well-organised and friendly Championships.

 

ITF Scotland were constrained by the fact that a significant contingent of junior competitors were unable to attend the Championships due to examination commitments and thus the team was in a transitional phase.  The recorded one silver medal but as mentioned earlier this was undoubtedly affected by the absence of a number of strong contenders, some from Scotia, but who will be competing in the European Championships in October.  Nevertheless Gregor Towers but up a determined performance in the Individual Junior Male sparring to 56kg division reaching the quarter-final of this very strong division.  In progressing to the quarter-final Gregor beat opponents from New Zealand and Slovenia before losing out to a competitor from Ireland who went on to become World Champion.  Both Gregor and Alex were part of the respective teams who competed for the team pattern, sparring, power and special technique.

 

ITF England won a total of 16 medals for which placed the team 9th on the medal table ahead of many larger teams.  This was made up of 2 Gold, 6 Silver and 8 Bronze medals.  Individuals won 13 of the 16 medals.  Full details can be found on the ITF website.  T-UK students won the following medals:

 

Gold Medals World Champion

Izzy Brider, Junior Female II degree pattern

 

Silver Medals

Romy Mottershead, Junior Female Sparring to 60kg

 

Bronze Medals

Junior Female Team Pattern (Izzy Brider team member)

 

Insofar as the performance of Romy and Izzy is concerned it would be fair to say that the two contributed in a significant way to the success of the ITF England team.  Romy sparred in the individual junior female under 60kg category and faced stiff competition.  She set a high standard and progressed to the semi-final and thence the final.  This, however, hides the fact that all thought that she had made it to the final and as she was getting ready for what we all believed to be the final she was told that she would have to compete in the semi-final.  This didn’t seem to faze her and she progressed to the final.  This was held about 5 minutes after the semi-final and notwithstanding that her competitor, from Poland, had had a much longer rest she sparred brilliantly.  After two close fought rounds and with little time left on the clock Romy was given a foul, for grabbing, which reversed the score.  Little time remained in the round and Romy was beaten by the smallest of margins.   However, I firmly believe that her loss, by the narrowest of margins, will spur her on to win the gold medal at the European Championships in Scotland in October.

 

 

By this time Izzy had already become the World Champion in individual junior female II degree patterns.  Izzy had up to this point not progressed in previous World and European Championships and her success was a demonstration of perseverance.  The difference between winning and losing in patterns, given the new scoring system, has become much finer and errors are not retrievable.  Her progress to the final meant, as for Romy, that she faced competition from across the world.  However, it seemed that once she had won the first round her confidence grew and she progressed to the final where she met a competitor from Hungary.  After performing Juche and Choong-Jang she became World Champion.  Izzy also sparred in the individual junior female under 50kg category but was beaten by a semi-finalist from Argentina.  She was disappointed but remains hungry to add to beat her previous World Championship bronze medal secured in 2013.  She also represented the team in team patterns, where she won a bronze medal being narrowly beaten by Ireland in the semi-final, team power, finishing joint fourth after a play-off and team special technique.

 

 

 

Romy and Izzy were also part of the junior female sparring team which was beaten by one point in the quarter finals of that event.  Izzy also had the privilege of being appointed as the ITF England junior team captain.

 

The brief outline for the representatives from T-UK above gives neither an idea of the level of the competition faced by the individuals and teams nor the level of excitement of the majority of the events.  Many of the sparring bouts went down to the wire and at least three medals could have been gold rather than silver.

 

Good wishes are sent to Gregor, Alex, Romy and Izzy for the upcoming 2015 ITF European Championships that will be taking place in Scotland in October.

 

I should also add that all through the events Phil Mottershead and this reporter gave as much support to each other as to the competitors.   I think we were more nervous than either Romy or Izzy!  Their focus was amazing and I for one will never forget their performances.  As will be imagined a few tears were shed and not just the competitors and I want to place on record my thanks to Phil and Mr. David Condie for keeping me sane when Izzy was performing her patterns, I hope that I did the same for Phil when Romy was competing.  I also want to thank Mr. Condie for lending a shoulder to cry on, literally and metaphorically after Izzy had won the final.  This was all the more appreciated, as he was busy throughout the competition coaching members of the ITF Scotland team.

 

 

Photo of the representatives of T-UK at the end of the Championships, from left to right: Mr. Phil Mottershead, Alex Marshall, Gregor Towers, Mr. David Condie, Dr. Jeff Brider, Izzy Brider and Romy Mottershead.

 

Thanks are due to the coaching teams of ITF Scotland and ITF England whose efforts and dedication have developed strong teams.  I know that it is much appreciated by all connected with the teams their commitment and hard work is a key ingredient to the success of each individual of the teams.  I know that they felt the highs and lows of all the team, even when some lost their voices!

 

Finally I want to place on record my thanks to all instructors in T-UK that have enabled their representatives to perform so well.  It would be remiss if I did not also thank Mr Condie for supporting Alex and Gregor and to Mr Miley for supporting Romy and Izzy.  Their commitment, hard work and continued dedication have been amply rewarded.  I expect that their hard work with each of their students will be lead to more achievements in the future.  Thank you Mr Condie and Mr Miley.   

 

I would encourage all those eligible to consider entering the trials for the European Championships that will be taking place in Finland in 2016.

 

Dr. Jeff Brider