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aekwondo: Medal success for Stoke UTA Taekwondo at London International Taekwondo Championships.

By The Sentinel  |  Posted: July 17, 2014

 Comments (0)Stoke UTA Taekwondo enjoyed a medal-filled weekend at the LondonInternational Taekwondo Championships.

The club achieved 14 medals over the weekend, with half of them gold, and saw Birches Head fighter Jack Pickin become London International Cadet Champion to back up his national crown.

Teams from across the globe descended on the Stoke Mandeville Stadium in Buckinghamshire, including a Stoke UTA side which included para-taekwondo world champion Amy Truesdale.

Their medal tally on day one of the competition reached double figures, helped by brother and sister, Calum and Bethany Johnson from Sneyd Green, coming out on top in the junior pairs, before achieving bronze in their individual sections.

James Beardmore and Phillipa Hockham went one better, winning gold in the plus 30 senior pairs section and silvers in their individual forms.

Master Peter Johnson, who is also coach of the club, and Amy Truesdale completed the day one medal haul, Johnson taking silver in his Individual Master 2 section and Truesdale winning two golds in the Freestyle and Para Forms section.

Johnson said: “It is a big competition with competitors from all over the world.

“We took quite a small team, but we have never won so many medals.

“Everyone has done very well in their own categories and done very well to win the medals.

“The good thing in the pairs was that we put people in together who have not trained together, so for them to win gold they have done really well.”

On Sunday, Chester-fighter Truesdale fought for the first time in over a year in the able-bodied division. The 25-year-old came away with a bronze medal after narrowly missing out on the final after a 7-6 defeat.

Hockham followed up her success on Saturday with a bronze in her individual section, but the star of the show was Pickin, taking gold and being crowned London International Cadet Champion.

“He is our superstar,” Johnson said of Pickin.

“He is trying to get on the main Olympic team in Manchester, he’s had one trial and has got another one coming up.

“We don’t want to lose him, but hopefully he will get chosen and the same goes for Amy, if the decision (for para-taekwondo to be included in the 2020 Paralympics) goes her way.

Johnson said being trained alongside Olympic stars such as Jade Jones would be a great achievement for the pair and something the club would be very proud of.

He added: “It is the main aim for every coach and club to get them to qualify for the Olympics, especially Amy because she has definitely got a great chance of a medal.”

Johnson, from Sneyd Green, will also be hoping for further individual success in the Commonwealth Taekwondo Championships in Edinburgh in October.

Sixteen-year-old Bethany Johnson has also been selected for the event and despite suffering an injury setback in training, Johnson hopes she will be fit and ready to compete for the gold in the autumn.

RICHARD SHARPE

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