More than 1,000 to face off at beach taekwondo championship

More than 1,000 to face off at beach taekwondo championship
A team warms up before matches begin. Black belt students have their sights set on qualifying for the Olympics. Photo by Promise Yee

OCEANSIDE — The 11th annual Elite Taekwondo Championship will bring more than 1,000 competitors to the Pier Amphitheater for a daylong competition June 7.

The championship is an opportunity for taekwondo competitors to see how they match up to fellow athletes from around the world.

Taekwondo teams from California, Arizona, Nevada, North Carolina, Mexico, Korea and China will be competing.

Athletes range from 4-year-old tots to adults, competing at white belt to black belt levels.

Mayor Jim Wood, right, welcomes taekwondo grandmasters to the city. Opening ceremonies take place at 11 a.m. Photo by Promise Yee

Mayor Jim Wood, right, welcomes taekwondo grandmasters to the city. Opening ceremonies take place at 11 a.m. Photo by Promise Yee

Teams look forward to the tournament as a way to ready black belt students for nationals, and give all students an opportunity to compete and have fun.

“It’s a family event,” Jacky Baik, tournament co-director, said. “Students can see where their caliber is compared to other students. It’s about fun and fitness.”

This year wireless scoring will be used to allow quicker, more accurate scoring.

The job of scoring matches is demanding. Four judges are assigned to each of the 10 simultaneous sparing matches that begin at 9 a.m. and go through 6:30 p.m.

On the main stage black belt competition takes place. The majority of black belt competitors are Olympic hopefuls who have their sights set on going to Rio in 2016.

Baik said the day makes for some high level competition.

“It’s high-quality, invitation only,” he said. “The true best.”

Opening ceremonies take place around 11 a.m. and include a welcome to the city by Mayor Jim Wood, and taekwondo dance and sparring demonstrations.

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