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MIT Sport Taekwondo Easily Tops Cornell in Weekend Tournament

By Bobby Ren

The MIT Sport Taekwondo team went to Ithaca this past Saturday to compete in their second tournament of the season. The tournament was hosted by rival Cornell, and attended by 13 schools from the Ivy Northeast Collegiate Taekwondo League (INCTL). With the momentum of their victory at the MIT tournament behind them, the Sport Taekwondo team dominated again, this time winning by an even larger margin. MIT’s final score of 634 more than doubled the second place finisher, Cornell, who had 268.

One of the highlights of the tournament was a dual victory by the Women’s A teams in sparring. After defeating West Point, Rene R. Chen ’07 and Sharon A. Lawrence ’07 (Women’s A2) met up with Alicia Y. Zhou ’06, Erica Y. Chan ’07, and Rosemary E. Pike ’07 (Women’s A1) in the finals, where they took the silver and gold, respectively. This was the second time this season that MIT’s women’s teams have taken these top two spots.

Men’s A1 (Richard Sinn ’06, Conor F. Madigan G, Bobby B. Ren G, Forrest W. Liau ’06 and Jordan B. Brayanov G) easily took the men’s gold. Chan and Ren each won a gold in their respective blackbelt forms division as well.

In B league sparring, Zhou, Chen and Lawrence fought through a tough bracket, winning a few matches by knockout. They placed second to the Royal Military Academy of Canada due to injury. The Men’s B1 team of Ryan B. Huang ’06, John C. Ho G and Liau placed second, and the B2 team (Darren M. Chun ’07, Jaroslaw Labaziewicz G and Iliya T. Tsekov ’08) placed third.

The C team sparring at Cornell was important for the MIT team because it was the first tournament for many new beginners, who had recently joined the club after being introduced to taekwondo by club Head Instructor, Dan Chuang, in the first quarter PE class.

Tournaments are a great opportunity for the new beginners to get to know the rest of the club. At Cornell, the yellow belts were able to really appreciate the strength and determination of the team.

“Rene [Chen] and Sharon [Lawrence]’s matches were amazing,” said John T. Wong ’06 about their match against Cornell A1. “Rene was down ridiculous points and came back and won it 13-12 in the last seconds. Sharon won in overtime. Just the spirit of the team around that ring was amazing.”

In forms, the red belts demonstrated their proficiency and dominated their divisions. Huang and Ho captured the gold and silver for men’s forms, and Chen and Zhou easily secured gold and silver in women’s red belt forms. Liau also won a bronze in the men’s blue belt forms division.