Seven athletes of the Liberty County Recreation Department Taekwondo Team brought home 15 medals after competing at the International Taekwondo Orlando Open in Kissimmee Fla.
The tournament was held Nov. 2, and the athletes all represented the Sport Taekwondo Center and Hinesville.
They competed in Kyorugi (sparring) and Poomsae (Forms). According to their trainer Master Ralph Medina, the tournament had a high standard of competition.
“But the Hinesville fighters held their own and returned with 15 medals – 9 Golds, 3 silvers and1Bronze,” Medina said. “The LCRD Taekwondo Team are now back in training, hoping to build on their experience in order to achieve further success at future tournaments.”
Medina said there were many teams in attendance from around the globe. Athletes from the United States, stood among top fighters from countries such as the Dominic Republic, Africa and Panama. There were athletes from Puerto Rico Missouri, Georgia, Florida, Illinois, California, Maryland, South Carolina, New York and Louisiana.
Medina said he got to serve as a referee at the event and thanked fellow referees Master Philip J. Konz who also represented Hinesville. Medina thanked the referees from around the world. They were Vernell Rogers (Chief Referee), Giovanna Valdez, Orlando Pérez, Fernando Concha, Makesha Yarbrough, Larry Pike, Freddie McDonald, Noah Fitzgerald, Nicolás Díaz, Andres Pinales, Miguel Pérez, and Luis Rodríguez.
Medina said these officials served as the impartial referees/judges for a sporting contest and helped maintain the flow of the game by providing quick and accurate rulings on matters of fouls and scoring. Their other role is to make sure the competition is held in the safest manner possible to limit injuries.