On Saturday, April 4, the MIT Sport Taekwondo team travelled to the University of Pennsylvania to compete in the fourth Eastern Collegiate Taekwondo Conference (ECTC) tournament of the year. This tournament was a crucial for the team, since a loss could mean the loss of the long aspired-for ECTC cup to the rival team from Cornell University. Despite being outnumbered by the team from Cornell, MIT’s team — coached by head instructor Dan Chuang and led by captains Christopher J. Han ’09 and Corinna Hui ’09 — finished first.
The team’s passion was displayed from the beginning as the day opened with the forms competition. In the black belt division, Daniel J. Sauza ’11 claimed the silver medal while Erika Lee ’12 captured the bronze.
In red belt forms, Ning Wu G took the bronze in the men’s division, while once again, the women’s forms was dominated by an outstanding performance by MIT, with Christine M. Lee ’09, Shammi S. Quddus ’10, and Ranbel F. Sun ’10 capturing the gold, silver, and bronze respectively.
For the intermediate belts, Rafael A. “Maverick” Raya ’11 claimed the silver in blue belt forms, while Teresa T. “Ty” Lin ’12 and Lyla J. Fischer ’11 demonstrated their prowess by taking the silver and bronze, respectively, in the green belt division.
After a promising morning, the team refused to ease up on the competition, especially against Cornell. The afternoon opened with sparring.
In the A team division, the men’s A1 (Wu, Han, Forrest W. Liau G) muscled their way to the medal stands to claim the bronze for the first time since 2007. The women’s A1 team (Quddus, Hui, Christine Chin ’09) powered their way to the top for the gold, and A2 team (Sun, Han Zhu ’09, Stephanie E. Nix ’09) aggressively sparred their opponents for the bronze.
In Division B sparring, the women’s team made history and dominated their division. The B1 team (Quddus, Zhu, Chin) snatched the gold, B2 (Sun, Nix, Fischer) captured the silver, and B3 (Jing “Jenny” Cheng ’11, Lee, Hsin-Jung “Sophia” Li ’11) and B4 (Tara P. Sarathi ’12, ZheChen “Mary” Hong ’10, Lin) seized the bronze.
Even in the C team division, the desire to win was never diminished. The men’s C1 team (Ryan A. Rosario ’12, David Y. Wen ’10, Ijeoma “EJ” Emeagwali ’12) sparred fiercely and left the ring with the gold.
As the tournament came to an end, the team walked away knowing that the goal of the day was accomplished: beating Cornell and retaining the hard-earned lead in the league.
Only one tournament stands in the way of winning the ECTC cup: with only two weeks left before the Columbia University tournament on April 25th, the team is training harder than before.