Sport Taekwondo Dominates Both Forms, Sparring to Finish Second

The MIT Sport Taekwondo Club finished second out of eighteen teams at the fourth Ivy Northeast Collegiate Taekwondo League tournament of the season, held at the University of Pennsylvania on April 5. The MIT team, led by Coach Dan Chuang, finished with 423 points, only 60 points behind first place Cornell University.

The day began with forms competition, or poomsae, in which competitors show their skills by performing a set of choreographed techniques. These forms are judged based on precision, power, grace, and rhythm. The MIT team dominated the color belt competition, placing competitors among the top three in all but one division.

Christine M. Lee ’09 and Corinna Hui ’09 secured gold and silver medals, respectively, in the very competitive red belt division, while Omar E. Fernández ’10 took bronze in the men’s division. Forrest W. Liau G impressed everyone with his power and technique, earning gold in men’s blue belt forms. Elisabeth M. Markham ’09 and Ranbel F. Sun ’10 won gold and bronze respectively in the women’s division.

In the green belt division, ZheChen “Mary” Hong ’10 and Michael Schneider G earned gold and bronze medals, respectively, while Andrew K. Sugaya ’11 took a bronze medal in the massive white/yellow belt division.

Immediately following poomsae competition, the sparring competition started with the advanced (A-team) level, in which MIT women’s A1 team (Rebecca Hung ’11, Hui, Stephanie R. Chiang ’08, and JiHye Kim ’10) secured a bronze medal after facing three very competitive teams.

The tournament continued with beginner level sparring (C-team) where the MIT women’s C1 team (Jennifer T. Huang ’08, Hong, and Elizabeth M. George ’08) had a very impressive comeback to the medal rounds, finishing first in their division. In the men’s division, MIT’s C2 team (Mark J. Yen ’11, Matthew G. Escoto ’11, and Schneider) stayed strong in the competitive men’s C-team field, obtaining bronze.

The tournament concluded with intermediate level sparring (B-team) in which the MIT women’s teams continued their season long excellence by placing three teams in the medal rounds. MIT teams B1 (Sun, Hui, and Chiang), B2 (Jaclyn J. Ho ’09, Han Zhu ’10, and Markham), and B3 (Huang, Stephanie E. Nix ’09, and Christine Chin ’09) won gold, silver and bronze respectively, while the B4 team (Jing “Jenny” Cheng ’11, Hong, and George) was only a point away from the medal round.

In the men’s division, MIT B1 team (Ning Wu G, co-captain Christopher J. Han ’09, and Liau) obtained a silver medal after four strong matches, losing only to Cornell’s B1 team.

The club will compete in the last INCTL tournament of the season on April 20 at Columbia University.