A selection of South Dublin Taekwondo (SDTKD) Clubs international athletes attended a double header of events in the Gold Coast, Australia. Two consecutive World Taekwondo ‘G2’ (Grade 2, double ranking points) were held within three days giving rise to fighters from all around the world taking the long trip in search of valuable medals & points. SDTKD had four junior fighters Ryan Doyle, Lauren Farrell and David Phelan attend alongside their senior team mate Jack Woolley.
The two events included; ‘The Oceania Presidents Cup’, and the ‘Australian Open’. With 2 large profile events on back to back organizers were keen to entice people down under, and it did not fail, with superstars of the game arriving from all around the globe.
A couple of strong performances by the youngest of the group – Ryan Doyle left him just outside the medals. In his last fight of the events he was seconds away from defeating the eventual gold medalist of the Australian Open, with his coach Robert Taaffe protesting a dubious penalty decision with video replay, only to be declined by the officials, Doyle made an earlier exit than hoped.
Lauren Farrell secured a silver medal in her junior -59kg category after an impressive day of fighting, unfortunately settling for silver after a ‘golden score’ after the final finished level. In her second event, in Lauren’s third fight if the day she encountered the same opponent as previous event, Amber Heslop of Australia, this time in the semi final where she finished with a bronze medal. David Phelan won a brace of bronze medals, in both events fighting string preliminary rounds, but meeting the eventual gold medalist, Liam Sweeney of Australia in the semi final both days. SDTKD’s only senior in competition was Jack Woolley. During Jacks first event of 2, he won a well earned bronze medal and 7.2 World Ranking Points, whilst completing his maximum 40 Olympic Ranking points allowance for 2019. Jack had a bye in the preliminary due to ranking, then wins over Japanese opposition Jin Tomura & Taipei’s Hao-Yu Hsu opponents before defeat to former World Champion & Youth Olympic Champion Chen Yu-Wang from Chinese Taipei.
In the last day of the double event it was Gold Coast by Name & Gold by nature, as Jack saw off his entire division to secure gold, 20 ranking points & the title of Australian Open Champion 2019. Jacks first outing of the day secured victory over Korea’s Hong Seok Lee, followed by a repeat victory over Japans Jin Tomura. The semi final saw victory over Columbia’s Jefferson Ochoa followed by the final against Australian home favorite Bailey Lewis. In the final jack was behind after the opening round, but after some fine adjustments came back to win 23-16 and suprise the home audiences. The group were accompanied by Head Coach Robert Taaffe who noted, ‘I’m very proud of what the team have achieved under difficult conditions. Jack came to Australia as it was part of our 2019 strategy & it was completed as hoped with some great performances. Our juniors Ryan, Lauren & David gave good performances, but I’m sure all three were hoping for higher results. Some things didn’t go our way, I believe they deserved a bit more, but that’s sport. We leave Australia with many more friends earned & good experience for future challenges.’