The event was launched with opening ceremonies on Tuesday night at the Pala Arrex Arena. After a formal introduction of the tournament committees and other officials, and the procession of representative countries, there was a series of spectacular performances by a renowned opera singer and local pianist that perfectly demonstrated the classic culture of Italy. The audience was then captivated by a novel performance integrating the elegance of traditional ballet with a montage of Taekwon-Do patterns. A lasting impression was left by a spectacular demonstration from the National Team of Puerto Rico, and the ceremony was topped off with the traditional Haka dance of the New Zealand Taekwon-Do team. After the ceremony the crowds headed back to their hotels to rest up for the first day of competition.
Saturday’s competition happily saw the USA’s first gold medal, well-earned by Jaime Raybourn of Houston, TX, from ATFI who nabbed first place in heavyweight junior girls’ individual sparring. And Sunday morning brought the much anticipated performance of Titus Durojaiye (NTA-ITF) and Anderson Chan (OTFA) in senior male pre-arranged sparring—a magnificent routine for which they earned a bronze medal. This same day saw a tenacious presentation of the junior girls’ team power breaking, which brought the USA another silver medal.
The World Championship this year proved a difficult one for the USA Team (joined efforts from the ATFI; ITF-USA; OTFA; and NTA-ITF — the four allied associations of the USA recognized by the ITF), with a series of unexpected losses that demonstrate perfectly the unpredictable, and often heartbreaking nature of international competition. Still, we are proud and overjoyed to congratulate our medal winners, and look forward to seeing everyone again soon!