2016 Junde "Hezhong Cup" Taekwondo Invitational Tournament - Zhuhai China, 29 May 2016.
Like a midsummer night's dream, the height of the 2016 Taekwondo competition season is upon us.
Acme Taekwondo was invited to compete in the Hezhong Cup Taekwondo Invitational in Zhuhai China and fielded 10 players to take part in both Poomsae and Kyorugi events on Sunday the 29th of May. Our players were supported by two club executives, two coaches and five parents.
It was quite a journey to the city of Zhuhai. The group of excited players boarded a mid morning flight out of Singapore to Macau and crossed the border on foot with waves of locals returning to China at the end of the work day.
As the bus crawled through the dense peak hour snarl, the group took in Zhuhai for the first time.
Whilst we were well and truly in China, we realised Zhuhai is very much different from cities like Shanghai and Beijing. Shiny new cars travel the smooth wide roads lined with pretty trees. Traffic flows in an orderly fashion. The buildings are modern and the fancy condos bask in the glow of new money.
We checked into the official competition hotel as the sun slowly sank into the horizon.
To the team's delight, we were able to sample some of the local cuisine on our first night in town which included "pigeon", amongst other flavourful dishes.
The following day, our hosts, and sponsors of the tournament, Junde Taekwondo opened their spacious gym and warmly welcomed us to train side by side with their members.
Training was intensive as the following day's kyorugi competition would include all age, all belt head kicks.
As afternoon approached, the sweltering summer heat gave way to a level 3 typhoon and we completed official registration procedures with a weigh-in for our kyorugi players.
Lights were out early as competition day briefing commenced at 6.45am followed by breakfast.
By 7.30am, our group was at the Olympic sized stadium and joining in the mass poomsae event with 600 players taking part. This was followed by a spectacular taekwondo demonstration by Korean club demo team SAEAM. It was heartwarming to see people of different nationalities coming together.
Once officiations concluded, the poomsae event got underway under a three judge, knock out system, similar to that used in kyorugi. There were no points allocated for accuracy and presentation. Majority votes see players go to the next round until they reach the finals.
Competition was intense and Acme Taekwondo opened with the juniors taking gold. As the poomsae competition came to a close, all of our players secured a coveted place on the podium bagging 6 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze.
The afternoon kyorugi competition really heated up with an intensity that can only be described as "super hot".
Their favourite burger meal was not quite enough to alleviate the butterflies in the stomachs of our young players as they have not had much competition experience using full contact kicks to the head.
Nevertheless, the intensive training the day before paid off and our players raised the bar - and their kicks - to head height, delivering some smashing three pointers and hard body kicks.
At the end of our outing, Team Acme closed the kyorugi account with 3 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze.
It was a superb effort by our young Acme players.
The team touched down safely in Singapore at 9.05pm on Monday night with smiles on their faces. I'm sure they will have sweet dreams in the comfort of their own beds with memories of an wonderful trip for many nights to come.
Thank you Team Acme for another international competition opportunity.
Team Manager: Lim Keng Leong
Coach: Joyce Lim & Pauline Tan
Players: (M) Joel Ngo - Captain, Zavier Lau, Levin Tiu & Hia Joo Hong. (F) Chloe Lai - Captain, Shin Tiu, Shaine Tiu, Isabella Long & Daycia Low.
Parents: Ngo Cheng Yang, Hia Chuen Ling, Toh Cui Chui, Liana Tjio & Angela Koh.