Swindon taekwondo stars put in a fine show at the Worlds

SWINDON competitors picked up a hatful of medals at the PUMA Taekwondo World Championships held at the Oasis recently.

The Professional Unification of Martial Arts event, which is now in its third year and was open to children and adults, attracted more than 700 competitors from the likes of Britain, Ireland, Poland, Romania, Hungary Holland and Sweden.

Over the two days Swindon’s competitors performed well against their international counterparts, with Rebecca Dearlove the pick of the bunch as she picked up three gold medals.

The Gorse Hill trained black belt won the individual sparring competition as well as the Patterns event and was also part of the winning side in the Ladies Team Sparring competition.

David Pixton was part of the elite England team which won the individual team sparring while Yoshen Moodley earned a bronze medal.

Of the lower graded Swindon competitors who were in action on the second day of the event, Miguel Rapagao picked up a silver medal while Chris Scaife earned a bronze.

The event was originally brought to Swindon by PUMA chairman Ray Gayle, a taekwondo master who trains his pupils at both Dorcan and Croft, and the man behind the tournament was pleased with how it went.

“There are a couple of different codes of taekwondo and this was designed to allow everyone to come and compete together, and I think word is now getting around about what we do as the competition keeps growing.

“We attracted more international competitors this time which is great because it ensured there was a really good atmosphere around the place.

“We had black belt competitors along with colour belt competitiors, who will be aspiring to black belt in the next couple of years, so it was good for them to see the standard and give them something to reach for.

“It also gave the black belts a look at what they will be facing in a couple of years time.

“We also had some really good performers which was pleasing, with Rebecca Dearlove winning three gold medals, so she did particularly well.”

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