Poomsae boom time for Kang Han taekwondo players

TAEK OF THE TOWN -- Kang Han's taekwondo glory squad that did so well at the poomsae national championships.
TAEK OF THE TOWN -- Kang Han's taekwondo glory squad that did so well at the poomsae national championships.

The flourishing Kang Han martial arts academy in Hucknall has received another feather in its cap after an outstanding performance at a national taekwondo tournament.

Kang Han, based on Beardall Street, sent a strong team of players to the British National Poomsae Championships in London.

And they returned home with a terrific haul of eight medals, even though some of their younger competitors were stepping on to a mat at national level for the first time.

Kang Han’s team ranged in age from nine to 50, but all had trained very hard in the poomsae discipline, which is a fixed sequence of movements for offence and defence techniques, comprising stances, blocks, punches and kicks.

Leading the medals’ haul was ten-year-old Tahya Fells, who was featured in the Dispatch two weeks ago after becoming the academy’s first student to hold national titles in both poomsae and kyrougi, which is full-contact sparring.

Fells won gold in the pee-wee under-11 girls’ A class, while teammate Ellie Muzeja took silver in the same category, even after a deduction for a restart.

Similar success was achieved by Katherine Nicholls and Emily Bicknell, even though they were making their debuts at a national championships.

Nicholls took gold in the pee-wee under-11 girls’ D class, while Bicknell won silver in the junior 15-to-18-year-old girls’ D class.

Appearing at the nationals for a second time were Madeleine Lilley and Molly Moffatt in the cadet 11-to-14-year-old girls’ D class. Lilley made it back-to-back golds, while Moffatt won a silver medal.

Kang Han’s final individual medal was won by Laura Muzeja, who is the mother of one of the academy’s young stars, 13-year-old Lauren Muzeja, who represented Great Britain last year at the European Taekwondo Championships. Competing in the under-40 female A class, Laura came home with bronze, even though she has been out for some time with injury.

The Hucknall club were also represented at the championships by Emily Hatton in the under-30 female B class, Ricky Bacon and Adam Shaw in the under-30 male A class, Sophie Holden in the under-30 female A class and veteran Bev Surgey in the under-50 female A class.

They all produced strong performances, with Holden not only making the finals in her individual event but also picking up a silver medal as part of the Northern Ireland squad in the team event.

Kang Han’s display delighted chief instructor Master Ian Lennox, who said he was proud of all the academy’s players.

Lennox (7th dan), who has been practising taekwondo for 30 years, works hard training all his students and enjoys seeing the work they put into competitions.