As an alternative to the cancelled or postponed championships this year, the ITF Tournament & Umpire Committee organized an online, digital championship in tul and pre-arranged free sparring, with about 840 participants from all over the world.
Amongst them 18 members ITF-Belgium subscribed. Out of 5 candidates 2 belgian umpires were selected.
It was quite exciting to follow the tournament and for the competitors and coaches it was a great way of competiting, having the time to analyze the patterns, waiting in suspense for the results. All belgian competitors did a great job, had a high level with some of them just missing a medal. But all of them showed the right spirit and a lot of progression was noticeble over the last period.
In tul female 18-35 IV°-VI° degree, Andreea Musca got the bronze medal, while Andreea and Leen Walraeve won the silver medal in female pre-arranged sparring 18-35 I°-VI° degree. Congratulations!
Some members of Taekwon-Do Club Gent participated at the eTournament, under guidance of their instructor Koen Hoerée. Two of the coaches of the event, Rune Schuddinck and Altan Rinchinov, made a report:
“The tournament was organized by ITF Germany and it was a way to let people compete online and practicing Taekwon-Do. Taekwon-Do Club Gent was the only Belgian club that participated, with 17 competitors. Now the Open World cup begins, this tournament was only for people that can’t compete in that tournament. It was spread over more than a week, always one day for the competitors and one day for the referees.
Three bronze medals for Inaya Benzazaa and Helin Capa, 2 silver medals for Oriane Moubiayi and Nesrinne Sadek and even one gold medal for our youngest member: Nelson van den Bogaert.
The tournament was more easy now for the little ones because it was all filmed in their own dojang and surrounded by their friends. It also had a different feeling due to the fact that it was all recorded and you were always able to redo your tul a second time if needed.
The general progression was seen from all competitors who we seem back. The level increases when you’re competing against unknown members and judged by people that you don’t know. It learns you can handle stress and going out of your comfort zone.
Because some members of Ghent still have stress, and that’s good to learn. It was a great experience and a good way to keep practicing and enjoying Taekwon-do.
In few days, the ITF World ETournament will start (October 4th-22nd). It will be a nice alternative to all the 2020 championships that had to be postponed or cancelled.
ITF-Belgium will be represented by 18 competitors, in tul & pre-arranged free sparring, some coaches and officials from 6 different affiliated schools: Samjok-O, ITF Brussels, Hwarang, Hodori, Ge-Baek and Taekwon-Do Club Gent. Also 5 members did their application to be umpire on the event, we’re still waiting on feedback on their selection.
May 7th-14th 2020 an online championship in tul was organised by ITF Germany, with the participation of 248 competitors, 41 clubs from 10 countries (with even Malaysia). Amongst them 9 members of Taekwon-Do Club Gent and the instructor, Koen Hoerée.
Koen made a report: once the tournament started, each competitor had 24 hours to send in a video with their performance, the next 24 hours the referees had the time to give their decision. To be sure the competitors only took those 24 hours, a new code was send to them each day. A link to the video had to get the stamp ‘approved’ to be sure it fulfilled all restrictions. I was both competitor and referee, judging was not so different as in ‘real’ competitions: scores were implemented in Sportsdata after watching the video once, scores appeared after all of the referees had scored.
The level of the competitors was high, some even had the chance to performe their tul in the dojang. This was not the case for the belgian competitors, as the restrictions are still severe.
Two members of Taekwon-Do Club Gent made it to the final, Sakina Khajou and Imane Mouselli. Sakina won the category. Her impression: “having an online competition is a very good idea, at least we’re still doing Taekwon-Do this way. There’s no stress, not like in real competitions, and you’re not aware of the level of your adversaire when performing. Really nice to be able to compete against persons from all different countries”.
Imane: “After 2 months of quarantine it’s nice to be able to perform Taekwon-Do, even if it’s in a virtual competition. Normally I have a lot of stress, so I make mistakes or performing to fast, but now the focus was there. I would do it again”. Angeliki Kourtesi: “I would definitely do it again, with less stress and being able to perform several times until you have the best possible video”.
I would really recommend other members to participate if more of these events would be organized. Staying busy with Taekwon-Do in a different way, feeling connected (online) with others worldwide for a week, a sense of competition and striving for perfection.