Local woman advances to Tae Kwon-do World Championships
It was Sharon King’s first trip to a national martial arts tournament, but it was a successful one.
King, who trains and competes with the East Side Tae Kwon-do Club in Beiseker, competed at the Canadian Championships in Saint-Hyacinth, Que., May 17 to 20. She returned home with a third place finish in Kata and a fourth-place finish in sparring and earned a spot on Team Canada.
King began competing in Tae Kwon-do nine years ago along with her daughter, Adysha, who also competed at the national tournament and placed seventh.
King attended a provincial qualifying tournament in Edmonton in April, where she placed second in both the Kata and sparring disciplines to advance onto Nationals.
“I didn’t expect to place,” King said. “I was only going because she was going. It’s a great bonding experience for a child and parent to learn together.”
Adysha’s path to Nationals was a bit different. The 14-year-old competed at the Tiger Balm International Tournament in Vancouver, March 17.
She won gold in the Traditional Korean Forms Black Belt U-17 class and bronze in the 13 to 17-year-old sparring qualifying class, which helped her advance to Montreal.
This year’s event featured 1,200 athletes from across Canada and was three times larger than last year’s turnout, according to King. It increased the competition level, which she believes will increase Team Canada’s chances at finding success at Worlds. However, as competitive as the athletes were on the floor, King said they were friendly ‘behind the scenes.’
“It was really quite friendly,” she said. “There are a lot of people I’ve met. You have so much in common, so there’s camaraderie. Until you put the helmet on to compete, it’s like good friends. When the helmets go on, all bets are off.”
The World Kickingboxing Council World Championships will take place Oct. 2 to 7 in Montreal, but King has yet to decide whether she will attend the competition.
“If I do go, obviously it’s going to be a wonderful experience,” she said.