Aurora, CO – The Pikes Peak Daedo Challenge was held at Prairie Middle School on Jan 19th, 2013. The event featured 250 + competitors from across Colorado and the United States, as well as national team members from Iraq, Tajikistan, and Estonia. The event was hosted by Master Angel of A-Team Taekwondo and was significant in the number of high level sparring competitors as well as the number and quality of the referees. The event had the feel of a “better version of the Rocky Mountain Open”, an event that was attempted several times by USA Taekwondo but never quite got the number of competitors it needed to survive. There is no doubt that the Pikes Peak Daedo Challenge will continue many years into the future.
A-Team Taekwondo spared no expense in flying in top referees from around the country. The official list of referees included Master John Seiber , Master Seung H Kim, Master Ronald Rose, Master Victoria Serbin, Master Raymond Hsu, Master Mike Wickham, Master Bob Perry, Master Martin Marcus, Masters Linda and Paul Kimmich, Master Robert Mckenna, Master Antoniette Chavez, Master Christine Rose, Master John Connors, Master James White, Master Deb White, Mr Gabriel Vigil, and Mrs Angela DeOlivera.
The tournament started off in the morning with creative events including forms, breaking, blaster pad, weapons, and group forms. At lunchtime there was a performance from the Academy of Life and Learning Demo Team, lead by Master Barb Kunkel (2000 Olympian). The team is the current US National Champion and placed second in the World Taekwondo Hanmadang in 2011.
Sparring was up after lunch, with the Daedo Electronic Scoring System. After extending her record to 18-0, 12 year old phenon Alondra Gonzalez remarked “This was a really awesome tournament and it was so nice to see friends from many different schools here.” Master Francis Esposo from California added: “The Pike’s Peak Daedo Challenge was a highly anticipated event for our team. We were attracted to the event because of the high level of competition the event drew, and the reputation of the highly certified referees who were in attendance. The Daedo Challenge utilized the Electronic Point Scoring System used in the Olympics and International Events. Master Angel Aranzamendi was a very gracious host for the event.”
No doubt many of the high level black belt sparring athletes were attracted by the prizes, which included two nights shared hotel in Vegas as well as the entry fee to the 2013 US Open Taekwondo Championships. This prize was given out for each of the Olympic weight divisions. The official winners are listed below:
|Jake Bauman (CO-ESA)
|Jesse Bates (NM)
|Ahmed Alsubaihawi (CO-KAT- Iraq)
|Alyssa Roseman (CO-ATM)
|Heather Gibson (CO-Rock)
|Alisher Gulov (CO-KAT-TJK)
Despite the number and quality of athletes from other states, all but one of the sponsorships went to athletes training in Colorado. Was it the home field advantage, the mile high altitude, or the rising level of Colorado schools and athletes? No doubt the presence of Olympians Alisher Gulov and Farkhod Negmatov helped considerably. You can read more about them as well as the exciting men’s featherweight final in the Coloradomanews article about Master Komiljon Latipov being named Tajikistan team coach.
Master Angel A said that he was “thankful for all the Colorado Masters and Referees who supported this high level event. I want to also thank Daedo Truescore Kevin McCullough for their support as well.”
All in all it was a great event. To see more photos, find out about next year’s event, and discuss with attendees, please like the official PPDC Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/PikesPeakDaedoChallenge