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Three students from the El Dorado Hills Taekwondo Center traveled to Richmond, VA along with

over 5000 other athletes from throughout the country to participate in the USAT National

Taekwondo Championships during the week of July 4-10. All of them earned spots on the

US National Team that will compete in the WTF (World Taekwondo Federation) World

Taekwondo Poomsae Championships in Lima, Peru.
Sharlene Duong (12) who attends Rolling Hills Middle School will represent the United States

in the Junior (ages 12-17) Female Individual Freestyle Division. She won the Gold Medal in

dominating fashion, thereby securing at least one roster spot on the National Team. Freestyle

Poomsae differs from Traditional Sport Poomsae (forms) in that it has a goal of showcasing

kicking techniques at a more advanced and athletic level than can be generally observed in

the standard technical patterns or even during sparring matches; such as multiple jumping kicks,

spinning kicks and kicks with acrobatic action. The athletes must also incorporate traditional Taekwondo combinations, sparring segments, gymnastics and music into a creative, dynamic and cohesive presentation.
During the competition week, Sharleen also earned Gold in the Cadet (ages 12-14) Traditional Pairs division with her partner Jacob Gonzaga of San Jose and Gold in the Cadet Female Team division along with Piper Kindle of San Jose and Janet Choe of Los Angeles. She won the Silver Medal in the Female Cadet Individual Division, missing the Gold by 1/100th of one point and picked up the Bronze Medal in Junior Mixed Pairs Freestyle Division with Jacob Gonzaga for an astounding total of 5 medals in World Class Black Belt Divisions.
Oak Ridge students Aleena Duong (16) and Ethan Huang (15) both earned spots on the US Team and had their tickets punched to Lima as members of the Gold Medal winning Junior Freestyle Team. Freestyle Teams are composed of 5 members; 2 male and 3 female (or vise-versa) and an alternate. They work with San Jose teammates Kenneth Doan, Tyler Dao and Arianna Le. Aleena earned a total of 4 medals including the Gold as part of a Junior (ages 15-17) Traditional Female Team with Arianna Le and Isabella DeMaria , Silver in Junior Female Individual and Silver in Junior Freestyle Mixed Pairs with her partner Tyler Dao. Ethan Huang was awarded an additional Bronze Medal as part of the Junior Male Team alongside Kenneth Doan and Tyler Dao.
The high level of success achieved by the trio is due in great part to the collaboration between The El Dorado Hills Taekwondo Center and San Jose Based Team-M Taekwondo, an elite regional demonstration team conducted by brothers Huy, Anh and Long Nguyen according to EDHTKD owner Paul Olson. "Our association with Team-M and those amazing coaches has given our members a much broader range of competitive opportunities and a chance to train and partner with other top athletes in the sport. These types of partnerships are becoming more and more common and help to insure that the best athletes will be able to represent our country on the international stage. To think that three students who train at an ordinary neighborhood studio in El Dorado Hills, CA will represent the United States of America at the World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships as part of the US National Team is a little overwhelming."
The 10th World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships in Lima Peru will be held September 29 through October 2, 2016.

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