World Junior Championships 2018: 10 Great Moments from Team Canada

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The 2018 World Taekwondo Junior Championships drew to a close on April 13 with 1 silver medal for Team Canada. The medal was recorded by the 17-year-old Team Captain Josipa Kafadar in the female under-49kg category.

According to World Taekwondo, over the course of the championships, nearly 1,000 young athletes from 118 countries participated in this record-breaking event. Team Canada Female Team finished the 14thoverall out of 88 participating countries and Male Team finished the 18th out of a total of 105 countries.

Here’s a look at the top 10 moments for Team Canada from this event:


Podium Moment

Josipa Kafadar, the Burnaby athlete didn’t lose a point in her first three matches. After defeated Ghazal Soltani of Iran 7:3 in the quarterfinals, Kafadar battled with Vietnam’s Thi Kim Ngan Ho and missed the top podium by just one point. 

“I stayed calm on the mat. I was focusing on the process of what I had to do to score,” said Kafadar. “Although I was physically tired as the matches progressed, my focus on what was  next stayed sharp.”

Kafadar started taekwondo at the age of 4 with a taekwondo class as a birthday present from her parents. A year later, she started to compete in sparring. Since a very young age, she set a goal to one day represent her country at high level events such as World Championships and the Olympic Games. 

“Thank you to everyone who contributed to my journey to get to where I am.” Kafadar wrote on her social media, “I am going to miss everyone (from the team) and I hope to see you all soon. You are not only my team for two weeks, but my family.”


The Walk of Honour

As the second day of the competition concluded, the team greeted Josipa Kafadar and Coach Daniel Thornton in the “walk of honour”.

Daniel Thornton, Kafadar’s coach described the competition as “a surreal experience” that he would never forget. 

“It was an amazing experience to make it all the way to the finals. It was an honour to be beside an athlete like Josipa,” said Thornton. “Our team was strong and supported us all the way through. During the semifinals, Team Canada was able to draw out the Team Russia chant, and it was just amazing to hear. We all won that match together.”


Canadian Referees 

World Taekwondo appointed three Canadian referees, Eric Wah (AB), Susanne Mitchell (SK) and Barbara Marian (ON), to officiate at the 2018 World Taekwondo Junior Championships. Congratulations to each of them for representing our Canadian referee community on the world stage!


Team Canada

“Team spirit was great, ”said Coach Carla Bacco. “We were loud and cheering for our athletes regardless of the results.”

Thank you to Akross Canada for sponsoring the National Team’s apparels and equipment at the World Taekwondo Junior Championships and making our team look sharp!


Coaches and Team Staff

As happens at all events, there were many behind the scenes staff that helped make the team the success they were. 

“The coaches were great and they tried the entire week to make this team best of the best,” said Raymond Mourad, Head of Team Canada at this event.

Thank you to our coaches, team medics and staff for keeping the team at its best.


Taekwondo Canada Instagram Takeover with Skylar Park


2016 Junior World Champion, Skylar Park was Team Canada’s Instagram Ambassador.  

Skylar was able to capture many great moments and behind-the-scenes stories and photos. These were captured and shared on social media to keep Canada informed and connected to the Team in Tunisia. 

Check them out here:


The Beach Memories


The General Assembly 

Taekwondo Canada’s President, Wayne Mitchell attended the World Taekwondo General Assembly on April 5 in Tunisia. The General Assembly “approved a series of changes to its Competition Rules as part of its ongoing commitment to ensure taekwondo is as exciting and engaging as possible for its global fan base.”

The new rules include changes to point recording, gamjeom, weigh-in, and Golden Point Round (renamed as Golden Round). The rule changes will be first implemented at this year’s Grand Prix Series 1 in Rome on June 1, 2018. 

For more info, please visit here


White Card for Peace


The “White Cards for Peace” initiative is run by the Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation’s partner, Peace and Sport. It started in 2014 as an interactive campaign on social media to raise awareness for sport activities to promote peace and development around the world. The white card is a symbolic gesture of commitment to peace efforts worldwide and shows support for the International Day of Sport for Peace on April 6th. 


Many More….

A special thank you to Mr. Kevin Waung for taking great photos to capture some top moments of Team Canada.  

You can now browse a selection of the photos taken by Kevin Waung on the Taekwondo Canada Facebook account and website.


Which, among these moments, is your favourite? Which moment, not mentioned here, also belongs to the list?


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