As published in the Townsville Bulletin, 21st June 2012.
THE path to the world championships is a step closer for up to six North Queensland taekwondo exponents.
More than 50 competitors from around the region along with others from Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra competed over the weekend at Rasmussen State School in stage two of qualifiers for the 2013 titles in Florida in the US. There are three more stages of qualifying - to be held before January - ahead of the International Taekwon-Do Federation World Titles.
Veteran competitor and stage two qualifiers organiser Nigel Paul said the quality had been excellent. "The last one I saw was in November last year and the increase in performance from the same people at the weekend ... I just couldn't believe it," Paul said.
To qualify, competitors must accumulate as many points as possible in their respective divisions and categories, with points awarded from a maximum 30 through to 10 to the first three placegetters.
Hopefuls from the Townsville-based Authentic Taekwon-Do to gain crucial points on the weekend included: Ben Hetherington (silver in power breaking), Alf Giarusso (silver in black belt patterns), Susan Paul (gold in women's special technique), Nichole Doran (gold in coloured belt patterns) and Brendan Mudge (gold in men's black belt sparring).
Nigel Paul and Scott Bower also earned points in the sixth dan pattern selection. "I think we have five, maybe six solid contenders," Paul said.
The next stage of qualifying is being held in Woy Woy in New South Wales on August 26.
Susan Paul took out gold in the women's special technique.
Click Here to see the full tournament results.