Local Martial Arts Team heads to Richmond, VA to Represent Illinois at the USA Taekwondo Nationals.
Jun 17, 2016 7:12 AM -
On July 3, nine local martial artists will compete at the United States Taekwondo National Championships in Richmond, Virginia. The athletes qualified for the elite competition by finishing in the top 3 in their age groups at the Illinois State Championship held on May 1. They range in age from 9 to 46 years old. The team will perform technical poomse (artistic forms) and full contact taekwondo sparring. The competition is sponored by the United States Olympic Committee. Winners can progress to the USA National Poomse Team and the Cadet, Junior and Senior USA Olympic Sparring Teams based on their performance. All of the athletes train at Summit Martial Arts in Park Ridge, IL and are coached by Master David Kim. Several members of Team Summit are repeat national qualifiers. Park Ridge mother and daughter duo, Lynne and Daniella Barrera, already claim 8 medals from the 2014 and 2015 National Championships and are hoping to add to their collection. Daniella, age 13, will be competing for an invitation to the USA National Poomse Team Trials. Des Plaines father and son duo, David and Ethan Kim, both earned medals at the 2015 Championship and are looking to repeat their success. CJ Austria, age 12, holds two National medals from 2013 (Sparring) and 2015 (Poomse). He will be competing for an a spot on the USA Cadet Olympic Sparring Team and for an invitation to the USA National Poomse Team Trials. Pavla Svobodova, age 20, is hoping to finish in the top two for a chance to be invited to the Senior Olympic Team Trials. The USA National Team Trials take place at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs on August 25. Pictured from left to right: Lynne Barrera (Park Ridge), Pavla Svobodova (Norridge), Stephanie Solano (Schiller Park), CJ Austria (Itasca), Ethan Kim (Des Plaines), Daniella Barrera (Park Ridge), Frank Gaston (Chicago), Dayja Johnson (Chicago), Filip Todorovic (Harwood Heights).