General, Taekwondo 15th August 2023

Korean Open & Kimunyong Cup – Wrap Up

General, Taekwondo

A strong contingent of Australian Taekwondo athletes recently returned from Korea after competing in the G1 Kimunyong Cup and G2 Chuncheon Korean Open.

G1 Kimunyong Cup

Held in the world-renown Muju Taekwondowon, the Kimunyong Cup proved to be a happy hunting ground for Australia, with eight athletes walking away with medals.

Juliet Lahood (-46kg), Leon Sejranovic (-80kg) and Reba Stewart (+73kg) led the charge, all claiming gold.

Juliet cruised through her earlier fights to then come up against a tall Spanish athlete from the strong Hangkuk team in the final, winning in 3 rounds.

Reba faced Korea in the final from the renowned Seoul City Professional Team and won in a 3-round battle.

Leon beat Afghanistan in the semi-final to then meet fellow Australian, Liam Sweeney in the final. To have two Aussies win gold and silver in the strong -80kg division shows Australia current depth (Liam beating a strong Korean athlete in a 3-round battle semi-final).

Stacey Hymer (-57kg) also won silver, performing very well in her first two fights against Korea and Vietnam, to then face the current World Champion in the final, losing in a high intensity fight.

Saffron Tambyrajah (-49kg), Bailey Lewis (-58kg) and Rebecca Murray (-67kg) all took home bronze to round out a good team showing. Saffron had an outstanding tournament, beating the World ranked #2 from Korea in the quarters to meet Olympic silver medalist in the semi-final, winning the first round, losing the second, then losing on even scores in the third.

G2 Chuncheon Korean Open

The Chuncheon Korean Open is typically one of the toughest international Open events each year, 2023 being no exception.

Leon backed up his good form from the week before, winning another Gold medal, beating USA and 3 Korean athletes, one being the current Junior World Champion.

Bailey also backed up with another Bronze medal, beating 2 Kazakhstan athletes before going down to the GP Challenge Gold Medallist from Korea.

After silver in Muju, Stacey continued her good form beating Philippines and Finland before losing in a close fight to the eventual winner and Grand Prix bronze medalist, from USA.

Reba also kept her medal winning form beating Tajikistan in her quarter final before losing in a close 3-round fight to the eventual Gold medalist from Philippines.

What’s next?

Having now returned from Korea, Australia’s highest world ranked athletes will complete final preparations before heading to the 2nd Grand Prix event of the year in Paris, starting on August 30th.

This event will see only the top Olympic ranked athletes invited to compete in each division. Grand Prix events are an excellent opportunity to rise up the World rankings with a strong performance.

The group attending the Paris Gand Prix will take the opportunity whilst in Europe to then compete at the Poland Open the following weekend.

Australian athletes qualifying for the Paris GP:

  • Leon Sejranovic
  • Bailey Lewis
  • Saffron Tambyrajah
  • Stacey Hymer
  • Reba Stewart

Preparations will then begin for the 3rd Grand Prix of the year in China from 10th – 12th October, immediately prior the National Championships in Perth on October 14th – an event that also doubles as the 2023 Pacific Games selection event.