Taekwondo Finishes Second at NYU Amid Field of 370 Athletes

The MIT Sport Taekwondo Club took second place at a tournament held at New York University on Feb. 24, the largest tournament in the history of the Ivy Northeast Collegiate Taekwondo League. Of the twenty four colleges competing, only Cornell University surpassed the impressive score of MIT’s team, coached by Master Daniel Chuang.

The competition began with forms, or poomsae, competition, in which competitors perform a choreographed sequence of kicks and hand techniques. Club President Corinna Hui ’09 secured the team’s first victory of the day with a gold medal in the women’s red belt division.

MIT was dominant in blue belt forms, with Ning Wu G and Wenxian Hong ’10 taking first place and third place respectively in the men’s competition, and Elisabeth M. Markham ’09 and Miranda J. Ha G doing the same on the women’s side.

At the green belt level, Michael Schneider G took first place among the men with his powerful hand techniques. Shammi S. Quddus ’10 and Chensi Ouyang ’08 earned first and third place among the women.

Andrew K. Sugaya ’11 also earned second place in the very large white and yellow belt division.

The sparring competitions were highly competitive in the very large field, beginning with the advanced (A-Team) division. The women’s A1 team (co-captain Karolina A. Corin G, Ha, Hui, and Stephanie R. Chiang ’08) had a very impressive showing, fighting through close matches and sudden death overtimes all the way to the finals against Harvard University A1. The team took the silver medal.

In the beginner (C-Team) and first-timer (D-Team) competitions, some of MIT’s newest team members had the opportunity to represent MIT in the ring. MIT’s women’s C2 team (Jing “Jenny” Cheng ’11, ZheChen “Mary” Hong ’10, and Ouyang) took third place after easily winning three matches, falling only to Cornell University C1. First time competitors John Sebastian Pineda ’10 and JiHye Ham ’08 took a gold and silver medal respectively in the men’s and women’s D-Team competitions.

The tournament ended with the intermediate (B-Team) division, which provided a satisfying conclusion for MIT with the women’s B1 (Ha, Hui, and Chiang), B2 (Ranbel F. Sun ’10, Han Zhu ’09, and Markham), and B3 (Jaclyn J. Ho ’09, Stephanie E. Nix ’09, and Christine Chin ’09) sweeping first, second and third place for the second consecutive tournament.

For the third tournament this year, MIT’s men’s A1 team (Wu, and co-captains Christopher J. Han ’09 and Jaroslaw Labaziewicz G) also served as the men’s B1 team. Fighting through a long and arduous day of competition, they took a bronze medal in the B-Team contest.

MIT finished the tournament with 378 points to Cornell’s 657, retaining second place in the league among twenty schools after three tournaments this season. The club is now preparing for the next INCTL tournament at the University of Pennsylvania on April 5.