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Heavy medal haul for Folding Mountain

Masha Scheele

Athletes from Folding Mountain Taekwondo dominated at the Tiger Challenge Tournament in Edmonton on Nov. 23.

Among the seven athletes they hauled home four gold medals, six silver, and three bronze, each doing very well in sparring.

Blue stripe belt, John Lorenze, was strong throughout his three matches to earn his gold medal. Lorenze beat his opponent 25 to 6 in the first, 25 to 8 in the second, and 36 to nothing in his gold medal match.

In his poomse competition, where judges mark the overall appearance of moves by the fighters, Lorenze received a silver medal.

Robert Field, also a blue stripe, fought his way through his division and ended up in a sudden death situation for his final match. The match was tied 5-5, and he eventually lost to take home silver in sparring and bronze in poomse.

Red belt, Kala Zilkowsky, also won gold in sparring, and took home the bronze for poomse.

Fellow red belt, Caylee Hunter, came close to also taking home the gold in sparring when she was up by eight points against her opponent in the final match. However, she unfortunately broke her arm within the last 10 seconds of the fight.

“When you get your arm broken, or when you can’t continue, the other person wins. She was winning and with ten seconds left she got her arm broken,” said coach Bill McLaughlin, adding that a roundhouse kick to the wrist twisted her arm in a green stick break.

“A straight-on hit wouldn’t have broken her arm, but it’s because she was twisting. She’ll be back training and she has six weeks to heal before the next tournament.”

Hunter earned silver in sparring and also bronze for poomse.

Red stripe, Dez Rohan-Gofrey, and red belt, Jeffrey Smeall, are the two heavyweight adults who competed at the tournament. Each fought their way through their divisions and met each other in the gold medal match.

Rohan-Gofrey placed gold, while Smeall took the silver, in both sparring and poomse.

Black belt Jessica Smeall faced off again with Tara Farnsworth in the ongoing competition they’ve had this season. Smeall was able to beat Farnsworth in the last tournament, but Farnsworth came back to beat Smeall at the Tiger Challenge by .2 points in sport poomse.

Sport poomse is a little bit different than the regular poomse competition as it has a set amount of criteria and is extremely precise.

Starting at ten points, deductions are made based on errors as slight as fingertips being just above or below a certain height or placing a foot just a minute amount over one way, explained McLaughlin.

The two athletes will face off again at the next tournament in Whitecourt in January, but the competition will ultimately come down to the national competition.

“Whoever wins gold at nationals will be on the national team and go on to world championships in Denmark,” added McLaughlin.

The athletes are currently done for the year and will start up again on Jan. 8. For more information on the club and how to join, find their Facebook page at Folding Mountain Taekwondo.