MIT Sport Taekwondo Finishes 2nd Overall On Road to Nationals

The MIT Sport Taekwondo Club traveled to Columbia University on Sunday, April 20 to compete in the final tournament of the Ivy/Northeast Collegiate Taekwondo League Season. A strong performance by the team, coached by MIT Sport Taekwondo Coach Daniel Chuang, secured both second place at the tournament and second place overall for the season, surpassed only by Cornell University.

The day began with the forms, or poomsae, competition, which involves the execution of a set of kicks and hand techniques specific to belt level. At the red belt level, Corinna Hui ’09 and Ning Wu G earned bronze and silver medals in the women’s and men’s divisions respectively.

MIT had a particularly impressive performance in blue belt forms, where Ranbel F. Sun ’10, Elisabeth M. Markham ’09, and Stephanie R. Chiang ’08 swept first, second, and third place. Forrest Liau G also earned a gold medal on the men’s side.

Shammi S. Quddus ’10 earned a gold medal in women’s green belt forms on the strength of her sidekicks, while Gordon Lu G earned a silver medal on the men’s side after coming out on top of an unprecedented runoff to break a four-way tie for second place. In the men’s yellow belt division Andrew Sugaya ’11 earned a gold medal.

With the completion of the forms competition, the tournament progressed to the sparring, or kyorugi, contest. In the advanced (A-Team) division, MIT’s women’s A1 team of Hui, Miranda J. Ha G, Stephanie R. Chiang ’08, and JiHye Kim ’10 overcame the very strong Harvard A1 team in the semifinals to earn a silver medal.

In the beginner (C-Team) division, the MIT women’s C1 team (Jing “Jenny” Cheng ’11, ZheChen “Mary” Hong ’10, and Shammi S. Quddus ’10) earned a silver medal. The men’s C1 team (Gordon Lu G, Andrew Hsiao ’10, and Michael Schneider G) earned a bronze medal.

The tournament and the season concluded with the exciting intermediate (B-Team) competition, in which MIT’s women’s teams continued their dominance, taking the top three places with the B1 (Ha, Hui, and Chiang), B2 (Sun, Han Zhu ’09, and Markham), and B3 (Jaclyn Ho ’09, Stephanie Nix ’09, and Christine Chin ’09) teams for the fourth consecutive tournament. On the men’s side, MIT B1 (Wu, Jaroslaw Labaziewicz G, and Liau) and MIT B2 (Wesley Koo ’09, Chris Han ’09, Omar Fernandez ’10, and Matthew Escoto ’11) took silver and bronze medals respectively.

MIT finished the tournament with 471 points, behind only Cornell with 656 points. Though this tournament marked the end of the INCTL season, the club quickly turned its attention to the Collegiate National Championships held at Stanford University on April 25–26.