Two Bournemouth University sport scholars compete at the first two British Student Taekwondo Federation’s Championships.
On the 19th of November the first of the British Student Taekwondo Federation competitions – the Imperial College Open – was held at the Jean Brown Indoor Arena in Essex. Representing Bournemouth University was Akvile Janaviciute and Immi Hand.
After an early start the athletes, along with officials Lucy Lawrence and Laila Arbane, arrived at 9am to weigh in. Once the athlete’s matches were just an hour away, Marcin Sweni – a coach from Dorset Taekwondo Association – helped the athletes to warm up before their matches.
Up first was Akvile in the -62kg A-Class category. In her first match her opposition was from a London University and had already competed in the morning. After a strong kick to the trunk protector, Akvile’s opponent conceded and gave up, seeing Akvile to progress to the final. In her final, she competed against another London athlete who was quite a defensive player who attempted to score through her counterattacks. Listening to her coach, Akvile stormed to victory with an ending score of 17-3!
Next up was Immi Hand, competing in the -67kg A-Class category. Her first opponent was from Nottingham University. Despite starting by accidentally punching her opposition’s face, an illegal technique which scored a point against her, Immi went on to win this match 8-1. Her final was against Parastoo, an athlete from Southampton University who trains with the TeamBU athletes at Dorset Taekwondo Association. As each girl knew the others’ fighting techniques, this match was quite close. Parastoo took advantage of Immi’s recovering ribs, and Immi became overprotective of her side to prevent further damage, allowing Parastoo to be in the lead after their first bout. With some strong words of advice from Master Darren Naraine and Laila Arbane, Immi rose to victory and won the final. As Akvile and Immi both won gold, Bournemouth University came eighth for the ICO Cup!
On the 3rd of December Immi Hand competed at the second University Championship, the Challenge Cup, at Aston University. Whilst no athletes or coaches from Bournemouth accompanied her arrangements had been made for an athlete from Plymouth University, Katie Bradley, to coach her. In the morning, Immi competed in a World Taekwondo competition. Two matches saw Immi fight to victory, winning this morning competition.
The afternoon brought an International Taekwondo Federation competition, in which Immi faced four matches. In the first match, Immi spent some time adjusting to the different rules of WT and ITF, nevertheless coming to a victory of 20-3. Her second and third matches progressed similarly, before her final against an athlete from Coventry University. In this match her opposition grew frustrated with Immi’s effective defence and earned a warning by kneeing her shin. This caused swelling on Immi’s leg, forcing her to switch strategy and stance. Despite this, Immi won her final with a score of 31-6! Her two golds from the Challenge Cup see Bournemouth University placed at seventh for this competition!
Congratulations TeamBU! Now it’s back to training for the upcoming competitions of 2018!
Congratulations from the whole SportBU Team, you guys ROCK!