ATHLETES from Falkirk’s Central Taekwondo Academy won an astonishing five gold medals at Commonwealth Taekwondo Championships.
The event took place at Edinburgh’s Meadowbank stadium where six hundred of the world’s top taekwondo players from twenty-one countries competed at what were the sixth Commonwealth Taekwondo Championships.
Tegan O’May picked up two gold medals while, Jordyn Smith, Hassan Haider and Angie Bailey won one gold.
Jordyn Smith was stunned to win an individual award – she was voted the best female athlete of the entire Games.
The club, part of Team Scotland, also lifted four silver and four bronze medals, bringing the total medal haul to thirteen. Asia Bailey, Esme O’Donnell, Rachel Wright and the duo of Angie Bailey and Claire Spowart took silver.
Claire, Ciara McLernon, Nicky Scott and the trio of Nicky, Sam McKinlay and Tracey Shaw also took bronze.
The club’s Ann Haston was also in action as an international referee for the first time and many members acted as volunteers to ensure the event ran smoothly.
It was the first time the event has been held in Scotland and it was also the biggest taekwondo event ever to take place north of the border.
The twenty-one countries were host nation Scotland plus England, Northern Ireland, Wales, Isle of Man, New Zealand, Cyprus, Kenya, Australia, India, Pakistan, Singapore, Nigeria, Malaysia, Canada, Ghana, Rwanda, Lesotho, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago and Gibraltar.
International athletes and officials who attended the Championships said they were the best-ever, commending the professionalism of the event, the helpfulness of the volunteers and the warm welcome they received.
Larbert’s David Bailey founded Central Taekwondo Academy in 1993 and was also Event Director for the Championships.
Speaking of his club’s success at the Games, he said: “What a momentous, unforgettable weekend! This was a high-level event with many past and present Olympians and current world medallists competing. The performances of the Central members representing Scotland were way above my expectations and to achieve such a medal haul was just fantastic. We can now boast a number of Commonwealth Champions at our club in both disciplines of patterns and sparring.
“I felt incredibly proud to be part of the team which put the whole thing together and the twenty-one nations marching in for the opening ceremony as the pipe band played was one of the highlights of all my years in Taekwondo.
“The success of the Central players, and the event itself, comes down to months of hard work and dedication. It can only lead to more people becoming aware of our fantastic art and sport.”