The Chilean taekwondo team won an unprecedented victory taking away seven medals at the recent edition of the Korea Open, the most traditional tournament in this form of martial arts held annually in Gumi, South Korea.
Young champion Camilo Perez won the first gold medal for Chile in seven years since the championship began by defeating the Thai competitor Takdanai Changkae in the 55 kilos category.
In the same weight category, Carlos Valdebenito achieved a bronze medal, as did Melissa Berrios in the 46 kilos category. Apart from this great performance from the junior team, Victoria Alvarez won in the 46 kilos adult category.
Later, Maria José Jara (57 kilos) and Arnold Torres (58) obtained bronze medals, while the young Catherine Fierro (63) won silver closing this unprecedented national participation which received seven podium places.
“This result is unprecedented. We had never taken so many medals and the fact that we stood on the podium in the Adult and Junior series indicates that we are working well today and for the future,” said coach Felipe Soto.
According to the technical director, the performance of the Chilean athletes “validated the stability of the results that national taekwondo has been getting since the South American tournament in Viña del Mar 2009.”
The Korea Open represents the highest point for the Chilean team in the preparation for the Panamerican championship which will be held in December in the Mexican city of Querétaro. It will also be a key point in the definition of the team that will go next March to the continental qualifications in Lima for the quotas for the Panamerican tournament in Guadalajara 2011.
Before this year’s competition held in Asia, Chile only had two podium places: the silver obtained by Yenny Contreras (2003) and Mario Guerra (2007).