Taekwondo Canada Names Team of Athletes Heading to Pan Am Games Qualification Event in Santo Doming

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OTTAWA— A talented group of 13 Canadian taekwondo athletes are hungry to earn spots to compete in the 2019 Pan Am Games during a qualification tournament in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, March 7-8.

Taekwondo Canada will field four women and four men in a variety of kyorugi Olympic weight divisions, while five more athletes will team up for Canada in the poomsae freestyle competitions.

Canada’s kyorugi competitors, who earned their spots to compete in the Pan Am Games Qualification Tournament at the National Championships, include:

*Yvette Yong (Toronto) – F49kg             Miguel Diaz (Toronto) – M58kg 

*Skylar Park (Winnipeg) – F57kg             Hervan Nkogho (Quebec) – M68kg

Ashley Kraayeveld (Toronto) – F67kg     Christopher Iliesco (Quebec) – M80kg

Rachel Cuma (Toronto) – F67kg+           Jordan Stewart (Toronto) – M80kg+

*Notes – pre-selected based on World Taekwondo Ranking

Canada will have a strong team of kyorugi coaches leading the athletes into the prestigious event. Jae Park, Young Su Choung, Alain Bernier, Carla Bacco, and Sung Min Son. 

“I’m so honoured and grateful for this opportunity 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,” said Kraayeveld, the gold medallist at the 2018 World Military Championships. “I competed at the 2015 Pan Ams in Toronto, and now I feel like I have a good chance of getting to Lima and medalling. I’m going to give it all I have to bring home a medal for Canada.”

The kyorugi competitions are set for March 7. The Canadians will battle for precious qualification spots (44 women and 48 men) to the Pan Am Games tournament.  The top-12 athletes in each of the women’s under 49kg, under57kg, and under 67kg classes will qualify. Only the top-eight women in weight classes over 67kg will book a ticket to Lima, Peru. The top-12 athletes in each of the men’s weight divisions will also qualify. There will also be four women and five men’s wild card spots up for grabs following the qualification event.

Canada will also send five athletes for freestyle poomsae competitions in Santo Domingo including:

Mark Bush (Calgary)                         Valerie Ho (Calgary)

AJ Assadian (Toronto)                         Michelle Lee (Toronto)

Jinsu Ha (Toronto)


Seoungmin Rim and Riseong Kang will share poomsae coaching duties.

Poomsae qualification for Pan Am Games is determined through a poomsae team event on March 8. The top-five teams will be headed to Lima, Peru this summer.

“The Pan Am Games Qualification event is another major test, and benchmark, for this talented group of athletes on the road to Lima,” said Guy Thibault, Performance Director, Taekwondo Canada. “Our goal every time we step into the ring is to deliver personal best performances, and ultimately, win medals. These athletes have all proven they can perform in pressure-packed situations. They have worked hard to get this far in their journey towards representing Canada at the 2019 Pan Am Games, and I know they will be ready for this important competition.”

Team Canada will arrive in Santo Domingo on March 4. The Pan Am Games is scheduled for Lima, Peru, July 26 – August 11, 2019.

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.


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