(Las Vegas, NV) – Colorado students from many different Taekwondo schools converged on Las Vegas to participate in the US Open Taekwondo championships. The event drew 2700 black belt competitors from 75 countries, including 33 of the London Olympians. The level and difficulty of the event have caused some in the media to say that the US Open should be upgraded to a G3 Level Event, as seen in this full coverage of the results.
Tuesday featured Poomsae competition. The highlight of the day was Master Steve Humphries (Golden Family TKD) who earned silver in his division. Other forms competitors included Dale Zamora (KAT) who placed 21st/23, Angela Olivera (CTA) who placed 10th, Jeremiah Moran-Fairchild who made it to the semifinals our of 54, Nikita Karamian (CTA) who got 16th/51, Alexis Menjares (CTA) took 18th/55. The field was extremely difficult. A former US Poomase Team member remarked “Basically, if you didn’t have a vertical side kick you weren’t even thinking about the medals.” One of the great things about Poomsae competition is that different competitors can perform together in a way not allowed by sparring competition. This video (by M-Team) shows many different teams doing Koryo in the warm up area and gives a good idea of the level of Poomsae competition.
Wednesday featured the 10-11, 12-14, and 33+ sparring divisions. In the 40-50 Welterweight division, Master Ghassan Timani (KAT) inspired many people by returning to tournament competition after 20 years. He received a tough draw, losing 3-0 to the eventual gold medalist from Germany in the first round. LaRon Younger (KAT) defeated Norway 12-2 in his first match, highlighted by a much talked about butterfly kick to the face. He defeated USA in his second match, losing only to USA in the finals. He ended with a well-deserved silver medal. Melchor Moran (CTA) earned a bronze medal in sparring, defeating his first two opponents but losing his third match. Jeremiah Moran-Fairchild (CTA) lost his first match but did a great job. Isaac Vigil (MYT) won his first two matches, before falling in the semifinals to the eventual gold medalist. He ended up with a bronze medal. Kaitlin Grenning (Golden TKD) defeated PA in her first match, which also earned her a bronze medal.
Wednesday featured four gold medals for Colorado. Angela DeOlivera (CTA) won gold after defeating another competitor from the USA. Madelin Gorman-Shore (The Rock) defeated four Americans in order to claim the 12-14 year old heavyweight division. Grace Kosloski (KAT) defeated four opponents including Mexico, having to come from behind in the final seconds of the final match against Canada in order to clinch gold. Her brother Josh Kosloski (KAT) showed tremendous heart, coming in to the tournament less than 100% and needing to win five matches to clinch gold. He had to overcome many close matches, including sudden death, to be the 2013 US Open Champion. Master Komiljon Latipov said “They represented Colorado and KAT very well and made me so proud! Can’t wait to teach them new things.” 9 News did a story on the siblings’ victory.
All in all it was a great experience for Colorado athletes to be among the best in the world. Although forms ended with only one silver medal, on Wednesday Colorado earned 4 golds, 1 silver, and 3 bronzes. Stay tuned to Colorado Martial Arts News for coverage of the main event – the Adult divisions on Thursday and Friday!
If any Colorado athletes aren’t included or if any results aren’t correct, please comment below and we will edit the story.