Monday, January 26, 2009

Grand Prix 2009

Just for fun and extra practice, the 6 members of the Taekwondo team headed up to East Orange, NJ yesterday to compete in the 2009 Grand Prix, hosted by Master Mark Williams. Competitors included David Huie, Marc Osherson, Eddie Lee, Peng Jiang, Gina Davis, and Cristian Proistosescu. This being an open local tournament, we weren't really sure what to expect in terms of the competition. We arrived shortly after noon, and the adult divisions were just getting started. There, we also met Master Lee from NYU and a few NYU fighters. First up were the color belts. Peng's first fight was also his first ever at a Taekwondo tournament, and he was understandably a little shaky. Fortunately he was able to pull out a win against his first opponent. Gina also registered a victory. Unfortunately, after some in the clinch and a few questionable points, Cristi lost in the final seconds of his match. Peng also fell in a close second match. Gina, true to form, defeated her second opponent to take gold in her division.

After the color belt divisions, the time came for the black belt competition. To increase the number of matches, Master Williams decided to eschew the usual weight divisions, and instead divided the black belt pool in half by weight. First to spar was Eddie, competing in the lower weight class that we later learned contained two National champions. Unfortunately, Eddie's opponent proved to be simply too quick, and Eddie lost due to 7-point gap. David was up next, and was evenly matched such that the score remained tied after 3 rounds. During the tiebreaker, one exchange ended with David landing a kick that both he and his opponent thought had ended the match, so much so that both stopped fighting - until they realized that it hadn't been scored. Unfortunately, David's opponent finally landed a kick against a passive block to score and win in overtime. In Princeton's final match, Marc fought his opponent - a Dominican Republic National Team member - with a bad back. Marc's injury prevented him from kicking, and his opponent continued to eventually win the division. For his efforts, and because of a bye in the first round, Marc's performance was good enough for a bronze medal.

The tournament was a great experience overall, with some very high level competition. Congratulations again to Gina for taking gold in her division! We would also like to thank Master Williams for hosting the tournament, and for getting us out earlier than any other tournament we've been to. As the league season approaches, we look forward to continue training, as well as possibly scrimmaging with NYU.