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OV TKD athletes achieve Pan-AM success

By Celina Ip

Pictured here are the OV TKW Athletes who competed at the 2017 International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) Pan-AM Championship in Toronto this past July. (from left) Front Standing: Luc Fleurant, Justin Dickson, Gus AthWanasopoulos. Sitting on edge back: Mckenna Boland, Sitting on top of hood: Mason Wood. Standing in the bed: Desiree Beckett, Anita Baroud, Renée Fleurant, Darren Webb, Caileb Bellerive. Standing from the front seat: Kiera Sullivan. Missing: Quintin de Ruiter and Barb Hasselman.

Pictured here are the OV TKW Athletes who competed at the 2017 International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) Pan-AM Championship in Toronto this past July. (from left) Front Standing: Luc Fleurant, Justin Dickson, Gus AthWanasopoulos. Sitting on edge back: Mckenna Boland, Sitting on top of hood: Mason Wood. Standing in the bed: Desiree Beckett, Anita Baroud, Renée Fleurant, Darren Webb, Caileb Bellerive. Standing from the front seat: Kiera Sullivan. Missing: Quintin de Ruiter and Barb Hasselman.

OTTAWA VALLEY – Ottawa Valley Taekwon-Do (OV TKD) fought their way to the top at the 2017 International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) Pan-AM Championship this past July.

 

Taking place from July 28 to 30 at the Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto with over 500 athletes coming from all over North and South America, the 13 OV TKD athletes brought home 26 medals through their successful efforts in sparring, patterns and board breaking.

Quintin de Ruiter, Anita Baroud, McKenna Boland, Darren Webb, and OV TKD coach Luc Fleurant all took home one or two gold medals in various categories.

Of all 13 athletes, Renée Fleurant and OV TKD coach Gus Athanasopoulos brought back the most hardware, with three medals each.

Due to an administrative mistake, Fleurant was placed in Hyper Weight for sparring as opposed to her typical Heavy Weight division. While she had to face off with girls who were much bigger than her, she held her ground and remained strong.

“I was a bit out of my league in this one division, but I fought as hard as I could and had fun,” said Fleurant.

After putting up a solid fight in all three categories, she earned bronze in Patterns I & II Dan, bronze in Sparring (Hyper Weight), and silver in Power Breaking (teen female).

“It was an amazing experience during which I got to put my own skills and abilities to the test against others and it was better than I thought it would be,” she said. “I’ve never placed in patterns before, so that was pretty surprising. For board breaking, I’ve always been terrified of it and only recently started becoming better at it and winning medals.”

Similarly, Athanasopoulos proudly returned home with three of his own medals that included silver in Patterns I & II Dan, silver in Sparring (Hyper Weight), and bronze in Power Breaking (senior men).

Athanasopoulos also expressed that his intensive training prior to the Championship had paid off and he was pleasantly surprised by the top results.

“We trained three days a week with cardio on top of that, all year round,” said Athanasopoulos. “Kudos to my instructors and our trainers – if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have been able to participate.”

According to Fleurant, the consistent support that she received from teammates, friends and family was a major factor that led to her success at the tournament.

“A lot of support came from my parents who are also my instructors, but it also came from other people in the community. Teammates from Taekwon-Do and even teammates from other sports were helping me out – for example, my curling team helped me to raise money to take part in the tournament and my friends outside of Taekwon-Do watched me do patterns and encouraged me while I was at the tournament,” she said.

The fighting spirit runs in the family as OV TKD coach Luc Fleurant – who is Renée Fleurant’s dad – achieved gold in the High Black Belt Pattern division.

He expressed that their training and involvement with the tournament helped to strengthen their bonds and develop their confidence and desire to challenge themselves even further.

“Families who fight together, stay together,” said Luc.

All OV TKD athletes will soon begin training for the Canadian National Taekwon-Do Championship in 2018 with the hope of successfully earning their place to compete at the World Taekwon-Do Championship taking place in Argentina in 2018.

Top results from the OV TKD athletes:

Black Belts:

IV Dan:

Luc Fleurant: Senior Men (Canadian Coach):

1. Gold in Patterns IV Dan and up, and

2. Silver in Sparring (Mid Weight).

II Dan:

Renée Fleurant: Female 16 to 17 year old (Umpire):

1. Bronze in Patterns I & II Dan,

2. Bronze in Sparring (Hyper Weight), and

3. Silver in Power Breaking (all Teen Female).

Justin Dickson: Male 16 to 17 year old (Umpire):

1. Bronze in Patterns I & II Dan.

Caileb Bellerive: Male 16 to 17 year old (Umpire):

1. Bronze in Sparring (Heavy Weight); and

2. Bronze in Power Breaking (all Teen Male)..

I Dan:

K (Gus) Athanasopoulos: Senior Men (Canadian Coach):

1. Silver in Patterns I & II Dan,

2. Silver in Sparring (Hyper Weight), and

3. Bronze in Power Breaking (all Senior Men).

Color Belts:

Darren Webb: Senior Men:

1. Gold in Patterns (all Color belts); and

2. Bronze in Sparring (Heavy Weight).

Keira Sullivan: Girls, 9 to 11 year old:

1. Silver in Patterns (Red and Black Stripes).

McKenna Boland: Female 15 to 17 year old:

1. Silver in Patterns (Higher Belts); and

2. Gold in Sparring (Heavy Weight).

Desiree Beckett: Female adults:

1. Silver in Patterns (all color belts); and

2. Bronze in Sparring (all color belts).

Anita Baroud: Female adults:

1. Gold in Patterns (all color belts); and

2. Gold in Sparring (all color belts).

Barb Hasselman: Senior Women:

1. Silver in Patterns (all color belts); and

2. Silver in Sparring (all color belts).

Mason Wood: Boys, 9 to 11 year old:

1. Silver in Patterns (white to green stripe); and

2. Silver in Sparring (white to green stripe).

Quintin de Ruiter: Boys, 6 to 8 year old:

1. Gold in Patterns (white to green stripe); and

2. Silver in Sparring (white to green stripe).