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Sport Taekwondo Club Dominates 13 Team Meet

By Bronwyn Edwards

The MIT Sport Taekwondo Club kicked off the 2006-2007 competition season on Sunday, Oct. 15 by hosting and winning the first Ivy Northeast Collegiate Taekwondo League tournament of the season.

In attendance were 13 colleges, including Harvard, Tufts, Brown, and rival Cornell Universities. The MIT team consisting of men and women of different skill levels finished with 548 points, well ahead of Cornell’s second place 377.

MIT started the competition on a high note, competing in forms, patterned movements unique to belt levels, and gathering 168 points and a comfortable lead.

Although the black belt division offered stiff competition, MIT’s Erica Y. Chan ’07 took first place in women’s black belt forms.

The red belt division competitors also performed very well. Rene R. Chen ’07, club president, earned first place in the women’s division, while Richard-Duane S. Chambers G earned first place in the men’s division. Teammate John C. Ho G was right behind him, taking third place.

Blue belts Nathan P. Wang ’08 and Forrest W. Liau G came away with first and second place respectively in their division.

In the green belt group, made up of students who started Taekwondo last fall, Christopher J. Han ’09 took first and Ning Wu G took second among men, while Corinna Hui ’09 and Christine M. Lee ’09 took second and third place in the women’s division.

In the men’s yellow/white belt division, Otoniel Tabares ’09 placed second out of over 40 compeititors, while Miranda J. Ha ’07 took third place in the women’s division.

The sparring matches continued to assure MIT’s dominance. In the advanced sparring division (A-team), Women’s A1 (Chen, Chan, and Ziyan Chu ‘07) had some impressive victories throughout their matches, and claimed first place in women’s A1 division by a safe margin.

C-Team (Novice) sparring began soon after A-Team competitions, and the experienced green belt members kept up their reputation as fierce competitors. Men’s C1 (Darren M. Chun ’07, Han, and Jamie B. Edwards ’08) seized third place after several close matches. Women’s C1 (Ha, Lee, and Hui) fought their way to first place in their division.

D-Team sparring, the beginner’s division, gave new club members the chance to shine. Nicole A. Bieber ’10 and Elisabeth M. Markham ’09, both white belt students who started this year in the Sport Taekwondo PE class, participated in their first tournament, taking third place in their division.

The final rounds of the tournament were left to the B-Teams (intermediate divisions) of the competing colleges. In the men’s division, B1 (Chun, Chambers, and Ho) took second place overall after intense matches. Men’s B2 (Arpun R. Nagaraja ’09, Jaroslaw Labaziewicz G, and Liau) secured third place in their division.

Women’s B1 (Chen, Sharon A. Lawrence ‘07, and Chu), after several stunning and tiring matches, stole first place in the division with a beautiful sudden death victory by Chen. Women’s B2 (Lee, Hui, and Ha) continued their aggressive and effective performance, securing third place in the division.

MIT remained in the forefront of the competition through the end of the tournament. Tufts placed third, scoring 203 points.