The Asian Tiger of sports

Who doesn’t follow me on twitter must have missed out on the news that my landlord decided to renew the wiring of the building I live in. And however cosy and zen my room may be, it couldn’t function as the birthplace of a new weekly without internet. Today everything was back to normal, so here I am with weekly #5.

History has been written at this year’s World Championships Taekwondo Poomsae. It took me a while to process, because, I have to admit, I would have loved to be the person going into to the history books. But Thomas Sommer (GER) performed his tour the force one year ahead of me and he will live on as the first non-Korean winner of the Gold Medal in the Senior 1 category (under 29). An amazing accomplishment and he truly deserves the title.

This breakthrough, in my opinion, marks the start of a new era in my beloved sport in a wider context. Competition in Taekwondo Poomsae has developed: what started as a Korean hobby has now become a globally well-established sport. Two weeks ago the World Championhips were held for the 8th time, in Bali, and the organization has proven itself modern and professional. The quality of the livestream was very high and the videos of all performances were directly available at Dartfish.tv (I strongly encourage you to watch Thomas Sommer’s performance here). The championships had their own website, Facebook and twitter pages, following the great examples of for example the Olympic Games. At the WC of 2012 ‘Freestyle’ was introduced as a new division and within a year it has made massive progress. All of this makes Taekwondo Poomsae competition way more attractive for audience and – mark my words – it will vastly gain practitioners the upcoming years. South-Korea’s economy was one of the four Asian Tigers, between 1960 and 1990, and now the Koreans have created an Asian Tiger of the sports world.

For now, Thomas’ videos give me a new inspiration boost. Watching videos of Korean champs, like the unparalleled Senior 1 female gold medallist of this year (video below), could somehow be demotivating. My poomsae were so ‘fundamentally’ different to theirs that it could make me think I could never get on their level. But after comparing myself with Thomas, I know those thoughts are wrong. Thomas is very good, but not unreachable. Let’s keep the title within European borders next year too! Mexico 2014, here I come!

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