On March 9, the MIT Sport Taekwondo Club competed at the Eastern Collegiate Taekwondo Conference (ECTC) tournament hosted by Princeton University. MIT faced many tough and experienced teams from schools such as Princeton and Cornell. With around 400 competitors, the team came in second in the overall competition with a total of 347 points.
MIT’s team dominated the poomsae competition, and many team members medaled in their respective divisions. In the black belt division, Michelle W. Chen ’14 captured first place, and Andrew J. Mandelbaum G and Isaac Fenta ’14 both won bronze. In the Red Belt forms, Kevin Hu ’15 and Tam T. Nyugen G won gold, with Shapagat Berdibek ’15 and Shirley Tsang ’14 both earning bronze. Yang Dai ’16 was first in the blue belt competition, and Akwasi Owusu-Akyaw ’17 won third place in the yellow belt division.
In addition to excelling in forms, the team placed well in the sparring portion of the tournament. The men’s B1 team (Hu, Tahin F. Syed G, Benjamin I. Shaibu ’14) and the men’s C1 team (Emmanuel Fasil ’17, Owusu-Akyaw ‘17, Eric R. Klinkhammer ’15) made it to the quarterfinals in their respective divisions. The women’s A2 team (Nyugen, Maria Alexis G, Andy Guatemala ’16) also reached the quarterfinals in a challenging bracket. The women’s A1 team consisting of Jessica J. Yang ’15, Chen ’14, and Lori Ling G fought hard in every match and triumphed over University of Michigan and Princeton to capture silver. The women’s B1 team (Tiffany Chen G, Casey L. Denham ’15, Tsang ‘14) made it to the finals, where they pushed through a tough match against Cornell for the gold.
Each team member showcased their determination and the results of their training in every match. The team remains focused and ready to train even harder in preparation for the upcoming National Collegiate Tournament in California and one more ECTC tournament at RPI in April.