Eight Canadian Taekwondo Athletes Punch Tickets to Pan Am Games Qualifier at 2019 National Champions
QUEBEC CITY—Eight Canadian taekwondo athletes will take the next step forward towards earning a spot to represent Canada at the 2019 Pan American Games after winning the National Championships in Quebec City.
Ontario’s Rachel Cuma (Female +67kg), Ashley Kraayeveld (Female 67kg), Jordan Stewart (Male +80kg), and Miguel Diaz (Male 58kg), along with Quebec’s Hervan Nkogho (Male 68kg) and Christopher IIiesco (Male 80kg) earned the opportunity to go to the Pan Am Games Qualifying event in Santo Domingo this March by capturing national crowns at the premiere domestic competition.
Toronto’s Yvette Yong (Female 49kg) and Winnipeg’s Skylar Park (Female 57kg) were pre-selected based on their international results and will round out the athletes who have qualified to advance to the next stage. Quebec’s Viviane Tranquille (Female -49kg) and Frederique Santerre (Female -57kg) also locked up national titles in their weight classes on Thursday. With Yong and Park pre-selected for those weight classes, Tranquille and Santerre will be named as alternates on the Pan Am Games Team.
Rachel Cuma knocked off her friend from New Brunswick, Emmanuelle Boudreau, in a spirited battle to secure the national title in the Female +67kg class.
“I’m excited I was able to perform the way I did today. I stayed calm and collected throughout the fight. I was able to keep coming back today, and kept reassuring myself I can do it,” said Cuma, who captured her first national title in the weight class. “This was such a nice and positive experience for me. Being on top of the podium makes it that much better.”
Toronto’s Ashley Kraayeveld, along with Yvette Yong will be looking for a successful qualification tournament in order to make their second Pan Am Games appearance. Kraayeveld captured the nation’s attention by topping Rio Olympian Melissa Pagnotta in the Female 67kg division on Thursday.
“I’m overjoyed – it’s been about seven years for me to win against my toughest competitor Melissa,” said Kraayeveld. “I’m so honoured and grateful because I’ve been working so hard for this event. I’m thankful that all of the hard work and sacrifice that I have committed to this sport is paying off.”
It’s been quite a run over the last couple of months for Kraayeveld. In November she also won the gold medal at the World Military Taekwondo Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Now she will represent Canada at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.
“I competed at the 2015 Pan Ams in Toronto, and now I feel like I have a good chance of medaling in Lima. I’m going to give it all I have to bring home a medal for Canada,” added Kraayeveld.
Complete PAGQ Kyorugi Results: http://taekwondo-canada.com/uploads/documents/PAGQResults-new.pdf
Complete Poomsae Day 1 Results: http://taekwondo-canada.com/uploads/documents/overall_result-ilovepdf-compressed_-_Day_1.pdf
Four athletes were recognized with MVP awards on the opening day of competition at the 2019 National Taekwondo Championships.
Nova Scotia’s Katie Cox won the Female Cadet MVP thanks to her victory in the Cadet -55kg division. Ontario’s Noah Nacsa was the Cadet Male winner. Nacsa won the male -33kg weight class. Ontario’s Anton Carreon was awarded the freestyle poomsae (U17 individual + O17 individual) winner. Michelle Lee, also from Ontario, was presented with the women’s freestyle poomsae award on the opening day.
The action continues in Quebec City, January 11 and 12.
Taekwondo Canada is the National Sport Governing Body for Taekwondo in Canada. We are recognized by World Taekwondo, Pan American Taekwondo Union, Sport Canada, Own the Podium, Canadian Olympic Committee, and the Canadian Paralympic Committee. Taekwondo Canada sends national teams to the Olympic Games, World Taekwondo Championships, Pan Am Taekwondo Championships, Pan Am Games, World Taekwondo Junior Championships, Poomsae World Championships, Pan Am Poomsae Championships, and is also targeting the 2020 Paralympic Games.