Rising Canadian star captures third career bronze on elite taekwondo series
ROME, Ita.—Canada’s Skylar Park celebrated her 20th birthday by winning the bronze medal at the World Taekwondo Grand Prix in Rome, Italy.
The Winnipeg native captured the third bronze medal of her career on the prestigious Grand Prix taekwondo circuit after losing a low-scoring 8-4 affair to Korea’s Ah-Reum Lee in the semifinals. Lee went on to win the gold medal in the 57kg division.
With her father and coach Jae Park in her corner, the young Canuck had to battle from behind the whole way after being down 2-0 after the opening round of her semifinal match. Park and Lee exchange punches and kicks in the second round. The Canadian put the pressure on in the third and final round but ran out of time and energy on a long day of competition.
Park battled her way through the women’s 57kg bracket. After topping Mexico’s Paulina Armeria 18-5 in the round of 32, Park rattled off two more hard-fought victories that included a 10-8 victory over Portugal’s Joana Cunha in the round of 16, followed by an 8-7 squeaker over Crotia’s Nikita Glasnovic in the quarter-final matches.
The rising Canadian star has been on a quite a run over the last 12 months. After winning her first two bronze medals in 2018, Park battled her way to another bronze last month at the World Taekwondo Championships in Manchester, England.
Turkey’s Hatice Kubra Ilgun finished second to Korea’s Lee. Anastasija Zolotic, of the United States, also won a bronze after losing the other sermifinal match to the Turkish competitor.
Toronto’s Yvette Yong was the only other Canadian to advance past the first round. After taking care of Germany’s Sueheda Gueler in the round of 32 of the women’s 49kg division, the 29 year old’s day came to an end after losing to Dominika Hronova, of the Czech Republic.
Other Canadian results included: Montreal’s Nathalie Iliesco coming out on the short-end of a battle with American Madelynn Gorman-Shore that went into extra time in the opening round of the women’s 67kg weight class.
Three other Canadians also dropped their opening round matches when they squared off on Friday.
Toronto’s Melissa Pagnotta lost to Germany’s Vanessa Korendl 8-3. Quebec City’s Marc Andre Bergeron was topped by American Jonathan Healy 7-3 and Jordan Stewart (Vaughan, Ont.) lost 27-10 to Rusian Zhaparov, of Kazakhstan, in the men’s 80kg bracket.
Complete details on the World Taekwondo Grand Prix in Rome can be found at http://www.worldtaekwondo.org/competition/world-taekwondo-grand-prix/roma-2019-world-taekwondo-grand-prix/information/
Taekwondo Canada is the National Sport Governing Body for Taekwondo in Canada. We are recognized by World Taekwondo, Pan American Taekwondo Union, and are members of the Canadian Olympic Committee, and the Canadian Paralympic Committee. Taekwondo Canada is supported by Sport Canada. 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.
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