Four University of Nottingham students represented Great Britain last month at the prestigious European Universities Taekwondo event, narrowly missing out on adding to their medal tally from the British championships.
Hosted at the Coimbra University stadium in central Portugal the European Universities Sport Association (EUSA) event saw the best student Taekwondo athletes from across the continent come together to compete.
The Nottingham quartet qualified to travel through their performances at the BSTF students, where they defeated competition from 50 other universities to finish in gold or silver medal position. University of Nottingham made up the largest contingent from any institution in the 30-strong squad supported by British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS).
The team comprised of Alice Cardall, currently studying for a PhD in Cancer Biology and the current senior TAGB English champion competing in the Female sparring – 53Kg and Female poomsae gold medallist from the Student Nationals Itzel Cacique, in her last year of her Production Management masters.
In the male competition, first year biochemistry and molecular medicine undergraduate Thangaes Nithi – Commonwealth bronze medallist – went in as one of the favourites for the Male sparring -65kg and was joined by Uriel Soberanes, also in his first year at Nottingham studying Energy Engineering, who lined up in the A class male sparring -87kg.
With a hugely competitive field from across the continent including several senior European medallists and Olypians, the Nottingham team failed to medal despite performing very strongly. Nithi came closest, eliminated only in the semi-finals by two-time champion and Olympian Rui Braganca of Portugal and missing out on a bronze medal due to a new double elimination format.
Sam Vickers, UoN Taekwondo Club President, commented;
“For these four students to have qualified to compete at this level is testament to their technical ability but also their determination to win. We couldn’t be more proud of their performances in Portugal. We would also like to thank Gary Skinner, club instructor and coach, and Colin West, BSTF team manager; both of whom are University of Nottingham alumni themselves, for all their work in supporting the squad as well as our sponsor Ki Martial Arts.”
Coach Gary Skinner added;
“This event was a very positive experience for the University of Nottingham players and I hope this will be a key springboard for further success in the future.”
UoN Taekwondo now turn their focus to the upcoming 2017-18 season and welcoming their new cohort of students. Their first competition will be the ICO cup on London on November 12th, where the club are aiming to better their third place finish from last year. Itzel Cacique and Thangaes Nithi will also be competing at the British Championships this autumn, looking to carry their form onto the senior competition stage.
For the full results from the EUSA 2017 Taekwondo championships please click here.
For more information about performance sport at the University of Nottingham please visit www.nottingham.ac.uk/sport/performance or contact Alex Perry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted on Thursday 10th August 2017