Team USA Earns 6 Medals at 13th World University Taekwondo Championship
The US National Collegiate Taekwondo Team earned one gold and five bronze medals at the 13th World University Taekwondo Championship (WUTC) in Hohhot, China. The championship was held over seven days, from June 8-14, and was contested by collegiate athletes from over 30 countries. The six medals earned in Hohhot were the US collegiate team's best result since 2004, and newly minted -73kg sparring world collegiate champion Jacqueline Galloway was the the United States' first female collegiate world gold medalist since 2002.
In addition to Galloway's gold medal, bronze medalists included Yessica Wiryawan (womens -49kg sparring), Jared Reed (men's -80kg sparring), Chase Graham (men's -63kg sparring), Jaysen Ishida (men's -74kg sparring), and the men's team sparring event participants, Joseph Aguon, Justin Bretz, Jaysen Ishida, Jared Reed and William Connick.
The competition began on June 8 with men's and women's individual poomsae. Kody Han (University of California, Berkeley) advanced from the semifinals to the finals, where he placed 7th overall. Thanh-Van Huynh (Kennesaw State University) also advanced from the semifinals to the finals, where she also placed 7th overall. Poomsae competition continued on June 9 with the mixed pair and team divisions. Pair Carissa Fu (Boston University) and David Chan (MGH Institute) placed 9th in the semifinals, missing the final round by a small margin. The women's team of Fu, Miyako Yerick (University of Texas at Austin) and Michelle Chen (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) placed 5th, missing the medals by just one place, and the men's team of Alvin Jong (University of California, Davis), Albert Jong (San Jose State University) and Lance Supnet (California State University, East Bay) placed 6th overall.
On June 10, the sparring competition began. Joseph Aguon III (-54kg, Tarrant County College), advanced with a score of 15-8 over host country China to advance to the second round where he lost to the eventual gold medalist from the Philippines 2-14. Devon Lewis (-57kg, Germanna Community College), lost in the first round 1-8 to the host country, China. Samery Moras (-46kg, University of Utah), lost in the quarterfinals 0-4 to the eventual gold medalist from Korea, and Abraham Lee (-68kg, Duke University), lost 6-14 to Spain in the first round.
The second day of sparring was contested on June 11. Yessica Wiryawan (-49kg, University of California, Berkeley) advanced 5-3 over Russia and again over host country China 3-3 (3-0 OT) to advance to the semifinals, where she lost 2-15 to Spain, earning a bronze medal for the team USA, the team's first of the competition. Jared Reed (-80kg, Laney College) also had an impressive run, advancing 16-3 over Oman, then 17-15 over Mexico to advance to the semifinals. He had an outstanding 14 points in the second round against Mexico to come from behind and take the lead. In the semifinals, Reed lost 4-10 to the gold medalist from Korea in the semifinals, finishing with a bronze medal. Blanca "Jenny" Quezada (-67kg, Arizona State University), won her first match 2-1 to advance over Mexico, and lost 1-14 in the next round to China. Justin Bretz (-58kg, Sinclair Community College) lost 6-9 in the first round to Mexico.
On June 12, the third day of sparring was contested. Jaysen Ishida (-74kg, University of Hawaii at Monoa) earned a bronze medal, winning 8-2 over Mexico. He next fought Russia, over whom he advanced 8-4. He lost a close 9-12 match to Thailand in the semifinals. Emilia Morrow (-62kg, University of Miami) advanced 18-0 over Oman, and was stopped in overtime at the quarterfinals by the eventual gold medalist from Chinese Taipei 4-4(0-1 OT). Danielle Harrison (+73kg, Johnson and Wales University) lost her first match 2-9 to Poland, and Jon Price (+87kg, SUNY Cortland) also lost his first match 2-9 to Mexico.
On June 13, the final day of individual sparring, the US earned two additional medals. Jacqueline Galloway (73kg, Collin College) earned the first gold medal for team USA at a collegiate world event since 2002. She advanced over China in the quarterfinals by a score of 8-1. In the semifinals, she met Korea, where the match was 2-2 after 3 rounds - she won with an exciting overtime point (1-0). She won in the finals over Chinese Taipei 4-2 to take the gold! Chase Graham (-63kg, Golden West College) also earned a bronze medal, winning 13-6 over Russia, and again 6-5 in the quarters to advance over Germany. In the semifinals, he lost a very close match to Egypt that was sent to overtime on a last-second kyongo 7-7, where he lost (0-1) to earn the bronze. Also fighting was Carissa Fu (-53kg, Boston University), who lost 12-15 to Turkey in her first match, and Will Connick (-87kg, University of California, Berkeley), who lost in the quarterfinals to the gold medalist from Korea by a score of 3-12.
The competition culminated in a team sparring event, the first of its kind for the WUTC. Each country selected 5 athletes to compete in a head-to-head format where each athlete sparred a single 2-minute round against their counterpart, with the first team to 3 wins advancing in the single elimination bracket. The men's team of Joseph Aguon III, Justin Bretz, Jaysen Ishida, Jared Reed and William Connick earned a bronze medal, advancing by walkover over Egypt, and then going out 0-3 to Korea in the semifinals. The female team of Samery Moras, Carissa Fu, Devon Lewis, Blanca Quezada and Emilia Morrow met eventual gold medalist Thailand in their first match, and although they lost 0-3, each of the matches were close and decided by just one kick.
The head of the team was NCTA president Russell Ahn. The directors of the team were Dong Il Shin and John Jae Lee. The head coach was Steven Rosbarsky, and the head poomsae coach was Daniel Chuang. Also coaching poomsae was Alicia Zhou. The sparring coaches were Head Coach Steven Rosbarsky, Brian Singer, Christina Bayley, Sophia Chung, Jason Hwang and Daniel Chuang. The team managers were Rex Hatfield and Heidi Fagerquist. The team doctor was Sherri Lashomb.