It was a pair of Folding Mountain Taekwondo teammates that faced off for gold at the Grandmaster KH Mihn Tournament held Oct. 26 in Edmonton.
Dez-Rohan Godfrey, a 39-year-old blue belt and Jeffrey Smeall, a 37-year-old red stripe belt, worked their way to the sparring final.
There is very little difference between them, physically, as they both stand 1.88 metres and Godfrey has only a five-pound weight advantage. In the end, it was Godfrey who came out victorious.
“(Godfrey) is just superfast for a big guy,” said Master Bill McLaughlin of Folding Mountain Taekwondo, adding that through the competition Smeall had a plan about what he was going to do from a technical perspective.
“He executed perfectly.”
Godfrey also went on to earn a silver medal in the patterns competition.
McLaughlin only took four competitors to the tournament, and Caylee Hunter was the only youth among them. Hunter, a 10-year-old red stripe belt, earned a gold medal in sparring. McLaughlin said she followed the game plan perfectly.
“She dominated,” he said.
She also earned a bronze medal in the patterns, where McLaughlin thought the judging didn’t do her performance justice.
“I couldn’t understand that result. She did so well and worked so hard, but it’s a judged event and these things happen and you need to just go with it. She deserved better, though. She did really well,” McLaughlin said.
The last competitor was Jessica Smeall, a 32-year-old 2nd Dan black belt who is working toward an international podium patterns finish in the coming year. She earned a gold in the U40 division.
She earned a gold medal in Edmonton, edging out friendly provincial rival Tara Farnsworth.
Folding Mountain members will next see action at the Tiger Tourney later this month.