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Erica Chan Places 3rd At Sport Taekwondo...s International Tourney

By Rosemary Pike

Erica Y. Chan ‘07, captain of the MIT Sport Taekwondo Club, won a bronze medal in the 21st International Park Cup on December 3, 2006. This competition was held in Sindelfingen, Germany and was attended by over 1000 international competitors.

Many of the European national team members from Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and other countries competed in the major international tournament. The US team was coached by Master Dan Chuang, the instructor of the MIT Sport Taekwondo Club.

Chan qualified for this competition by winning the US Cup tournament in October, held in Connecticut. Chan had to spar against competitors from four weight divisions, including three heavier than hers, to qualify for the Park Cup.

Chan competed in the women’s finweight division. Her first match, against a strong competitor from Germany, Chan scored twice with axe kicks to the head. She dominated the ring, ending the match at 7-0 by a point gap.

Chan then faced the Austrian National Team member in her division. After a slow start, Chan came from behind to tie the match at 4-4. The sudden death was incredibly exciting, as Chan hit a fast kick and the Austrian girl countered with a padachagi (slide back and back leg turning kick). The judges ruled for the Austrian competitor, who went on to win the entire division. Chan took a bronze metal, a tremendous accomplishment at such a high level international competition.

Chan was very excited about getting the opportunity to compete at the Park Cup. She said, “It was a really fun experience getting to go to another country to spar people I’ve never seen before.”

The European competitors have a slightly different fighting style, and adapting to new competitors is always challenging. Chan said she enjoyed sparring national team members, and would have liked a chance to spar another match, especially because she was so close to making the finals. Overall, however, she was very happy with the way she sparred, and is looking forward to the next competition, February 25th at New York University.