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LCRD athletes earn medals at tournament
Joaquin Pinkard (red), representing a taekwondo team from Puerto Rico, spars against Luis Gudifo (blue) from Panama at the 2013 Liberty County Rec Department Sports Taekwondo Championships last weekend at the Shuman Center in Hinesville. - photo by Photo by John Wood

Eleven Liberty County Recreation Department Sports Taekwondo athletes earned medals in 12 divisions at the 2013 LCRD Sports Taekwondo Championships last weekend at the Shuman Center in Hinesville.  
The LCRD Sport Taekwondo Center and the Sport Taekwondo Booster Club had 11 students who won 17 medals in the events that included forms and sparring.
The annual taekwondo tournament has grown and is garnering participants from around the world.
The Panamanian Team was represented and led by master Eric Laurin. Grant’s Martial Arts Academy from Grant, La., was led by coach Bernard Grant. Taekwondo Athletic Center of Florida was under the leadership of coach Juan Catalan. Carlisle Tae Kwon Do and Fitness Academy of Pennsylvania was coached by Johnny Birch. At Limitless Sport Taekwondo from North Carolina was led by coach Michael Coleman. Los Gallitos Olimpicos from Puerto Rico was coached by Bill Zafiropoulos. Also representing Puerto Rico was master De Jesus Daedo Truescore.
“The tournament was held to promote taekwondo as a sport for the young to be able to stay focused with disciplines, unity, friendship and hard work and to be chosen at the next level,” LCRD Sports Taekwondo grand master Rafael Medina said.
Medina added he was proud to announce grand master Michael Bennett recently was inducted into the Taekwondo Hall of Fame.
During the tournament, Medina was promoted to grand master, seventh dan. The promotion was presented by Medina’s friends and former U. S. Army taekwondo instructor buddies, grand masters Bobby Clayton, Hyun Suk Lee and Bruce Harris.
“Carrying on the traditions and teachings of those that have come before you is not an easy task,” master Edmond Conyers said to Medina. “It requires an individual of a humble heart, unyielding dedication and a person who has great respect for his art form. The world is proud to have an individual like you, one that continues to make the art available to another generation and for generations to come. On behalf of the LCRD Sport Taekwondo Center, I wish to congratulate grand master Rafael Medina for his extraordinary accomplishment and monumental task of seventh dan.”
The tournament was organized by Medina, Conyers and Bennett. The LCRD Sports Taekwondo also honored their sponsors Hotel La Quinta Inn, Vaden Nissan, Hinesville Day Spa & Salon, JK & T Auto Shop, Richer Taxes ETC Inc., Farmer’s Natural Foods and Arby’s.  

LCRD medalists
Yvonna Cato, orange belt, second in forms, first in sparring
Tatiana Kenny, orange belt, first in sparring
Patrick Cochran, blue belt, first in forms, first in sparring
Miles Akins, yellow belt, first in forms, first in sparring
Krystal Delgado, orange belt, third in sparring
Kiara Edwards, blue belt first in sparring
Joseph McDonald, orange belt, second in sparring
Jack Christimansavea, white belt, first in sparring
Gerald Bantista, white belt, first in sparring
Christeen Cato, yellow belt, first in forms (two divisions)
Anthony Jackson, white belt, first in forms, first in sparring.

2013 records tkd
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