Oh Do Kwan competitors medal at host event


Competitors from Oh Do Kwan’s Newnan school recently earned medals in sparring at the Atlanta Challenge Taekwondo Championships held last weekend at Trinity Christian School. They included: Front row (kneeling from left): Evan Mustain - (2nd), Zander Duerkoop (1st) and Daelyn Soto (2nd); Second row, from left, are Cahner Thompson (2nd), Rhea Patel (1st), Michael Sangster (3rd), Tunoa Lolotia (1st), Katie Steadham (1st), Ian DiGiacomo (1st), and Jacob Harris (3rd); Back row, from left, are Instructor Brandon Bonilla, Micah Dell (3rd), Matthew Dell (3rd), Darius Soto (1st), Cole Gerken (1st), Evan Craig (2nd), Instructor Bryce Bonilla and Master Joaquin Bonilla. Not pictured: Hankyu Kim (2nd) and Ethan Devers (2nd). 

Competitors from host school Oh Do Kwan Martial Arts earned awards at last weekend’s Atlanta Challenge Taekwondo Championships held at Trinity Christian School against opponents from throughout Georgia as well as from Alabama, South Carolina and Tennessee.

At least seven students from the Newnan school won first-place awards in sparring to go with six who earned sec- ond and four more in third against top- level competition, according to Master Joaquin Bonilla.

“Some of our students went up against opponents that were national champions or had more tournament experience or even outweighed them by several pounds,” he said. “No one backed down. Despite a few mismatched fights, our students knowingly and willingly went into it and banged away. They finished their fights and won the respect of their opponent and everyone else, especially me.”

Both Oh Do Kwan’s Newnan and Fayetteville’s schools competed in the host event, with Bonilla thanking parents, volunteers and coaches for what he called a “successful” tournament.

Winners in respective age groups for sparring included Darius Soto, Cole Gerken, Rhea Patel, Tunoa Lolotia, Katie Steadham, Ian DiGiacomo and Zander Duerkoop.

Cahner Thompson, Evan Craig, Cahner Thompson, Evan Mustain, Daelyn Soto, Hankyu Kim and Ethan Devers all finished as runners-up in sparring. Third place finishers in sparring included Micah Dell, Matthew Dell, Michael Sangster and Jacob Harris.

All the above students also medaled in forms competition.

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