Five Taekwon-Do black belts from eastern New Mexico competed in the International Taekwon-Do Federation’s world championships in Rome, Italy, from July 23 to July 27. Master Steve Blakeley, seventh-degree of Portales, left, accompanied his team to the tournament. Team members include Audra Brown of Portales, a fourth-degree black belt, Evan Luna of Clovis, a second-degree black belt, Maeve Brown of Portales, second-degree black belt, Bryce Hart of Roswell, first-degree black belt, and Haley Madden of Portales, first-degree black belt. (Submitted Photo)
Five black belts from Eastern New Mexico Taekwon-Do qualified to compete at the International Taekwon-Do world championships, held July 23-27 in Rome, Italy.
Traveling to Rome were Audra Brown of Portales, a fourth-degree black belt; Evan Luna of Clovis, a second-degree black belt; Maeve Brown of Portales, second-degree black belt; Bryce Hart of Roswell, first-degree black belt; and Haley Madden of Portales, first-degree black belt.
Audra Brown earned a Gold Medal in power breaking, and Maeve Brown, earned a Bronze Medal in specialty breaking.
The international competition was attended by Taekwon-Do black belts from 38 countries. The competition was for black belts only and there were just over 700 competitors, 110 umpires, and 20 VIPs from the 38 countries. Team USA had a total of 88 black belts who qualified for this event.
The VIPs in attendance included the President of the ITF, Choi, Jung Hwa, ninth-degree black belt, and four additional ninth-degree black belts, seven eighth-degrees, and five seventh-degree black belts from around the world.
The United States was represented by Grandmaster John Tompkins of Kansas, ninth-degree, Master Wheatly of Nevada, eighth-degree, Master Jue of California, eighth-degree, and Master Steve Blakeley, seventh-degree of Portales.
Eastern New Mexico Taekwon-Do has schools in Portales, Roswell, and Clovis. Master Blakeley runs the main school in Portales, Dwayne Worley, runs the school in Roswell, and James Chacon runs the school in Clovis.