Oct. 20 marked the beginning of the Eastern Collegiate Taekwondo Conference (ECTC) competitions for the year, and MIT hosted the first tournament of the season. With almost 400 participants from schools such as Yale, Cortland, Princeton, and West Point Academy, this was the biggest taekwondo event at MIT. After a series of tough matches that proved over and over the attitude of all the members of the team, MIT finished in second place, after Cornell and before Princeton.
In addition to welcoming skilled martial artists from many schools from the region, the MIT Taekwondo Tournament 2013 was the debut for many new members of the MIT Sport Taekwondo Club. The newcomers, along with the more experienced members of the team, excelled in both forms (poomsae) and sparring, and gave a display of the courage and attitude that characterizes the club.
In forms, in the category of black belt, Michelle W. Chen ’14 and Andrew J. Mandelbaum G won silver and bronze, respectively. As red belts, Shirley Tsang ’14 and Isaac Fenta ’14 won first place, and Tiffany A. Chen ’14 and Johanna S. Chong G won second and fourth, respectively. There were two other bronze medals in forms: one for Tahin F. Syed ’14 (fourth place in blue belt poomsae) and the other for Thipok Rak-Amnouykit ’16 (third in green belt category).
In sparring, Jessica J. Yang ’15, Tsang and Casey L. Denham ’15 obtained gold in the intermediate (B division) category. In that same division, Kevin Hu ’15, Fenta and Michael I. Hernandez ’14 won silver. Additionally, gold went to Jean Chow ’16, Lauren A. Huang ’17, Margaret A. Okobi ’16, and Meredith Alyse M. Benson ‘17, and bronze to Ruben A. Amaez ‘16, Cyril Creque-Sarbinowski ’17 and Eric R. Klinkhammer ’15 in the beginner (C division) category.
Overall, MIT finished in second place, losing to Cornell by a difference of small margin of points. Regardless, the impressive power, speed, and attitude that both the new and the veteran members of the club displayed throughout the entire tournament showed the point gap is smaller than it seems. With that same mindset and training, it is almost safe to say that the team will bring more medals home in the Nov. 9 tournament, which will be held at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.