(Baku, Azerbaijan) – Joshua Kosloski (https://www.facebook.com/joshuakosloskitkd) came out on top of a field of 37 countries in the Flyweight Division (72.6-81.4 lbs) in the Cadet World Taekwondo Championships held July 24-26th in Baku, Azerbaijan. The tournament featured 10 weight divisions for boys and 10 for girls, and each country was allowed to enter only one athlete per division. Joshua and 19 other Americans had earned the right to represent the USA by winning the USA Taekwondo Team Trials held this past January. Besides Joshua’s gold, the two other Americans earned Bronze medals. In total there were about 600 athletes from nearly 70 countries.
Competitors earn a point for kicking or punching their partner in an electronic protective vest above a certain power threshold, while they earn three points for kicking their partner in the head. Spinning techniques earn an extra point. Competitors win by scoring more points over three rounds or knocking their opponents out. If a competitor is winning by at least 12 points after the 2nd round, the match is stopped by virtue of the point gap. (“Mercy Rule”)
Joshua received a bye to the round of 32 where he defeated French Polynesia 13-0 (gap) to advance to the round of 16. There he defeated Georgia 12-0 (gap) to advance to the quarterfinals. He then bested Belarus 5-3 to advance to the semi-finals vs Daniel Lo Pinto from Italy. Joshua defeated him 13-0 (gap) to advance to the finals vs Andrei Kanaev of Russia. Andrei had previously defeated Joshua in the finals of the 2014 US Open. At 1-1, it was another close, low scoring match that went past overtime, but this time Joshua won by virtue of landing more strikes that were below the power threshold to score points.
“The combined score of all the matches was 44 to 4, which is unheard of at this level,” said Master Bill Pottle, owner of the Korean Academy of Taekwondo, Joshua’s home school since 2006. “To put that in terms more familiar to Coloradans, that’s basically like having the Broncos offense and the Seahawks defense together on one team.”
Master Russ Gale (Plymoth, MI), Assistant USA National Team Coach and the man in the chair for all his matches called Josh “one of the most intelligent and courageous fighters I have ever met” and said that “A good friend of mine says all the time, the world will always have gold medalists, but what the world needs most is good people. Not only has Josh won the world championship, he has also proven that nice guys don’t always finish last.”
Master Arlene Limas (Stafford, VA), the first American to win an Olympic Gold Medal in Taekwondo (Seoul, 1988) has worked with Josh in several camps and tournaments. “That kid on day one took a piece of my heart,” she said, calling Josh “an exceptional young man and athlete.”
Joshua cross trains with Champion Taekwondo Academy with Master Andre and ESA with Master Gallagher in Colorado and Manila Taekwondo with Master Henry Cruz in Union City, CA and Quest Taekwondo with Master Dean Vargas in Redondo Beach, CA. They were all incredibly helpful in getting him to the championship level.