Raw triumph at Stirling

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RAW Taekwondo club had a successful weekend at the recent third Stirling Open competition, with five members of the Abronhill club fighting their way to a medal.

Debutant Sophie Smith did fantastically well in the semi-final match, earning her first medal in her first competition. Unfazed by the atmosphere she scored a few good points, only to be pipped in the last round for a place in the final. A well earned bronze medal for Sophie.

Next up was fellow debutant Jason Hendry who found himself in the final against a bigger opponent. Although he found it tough against the bigger and heavier player, he still managed to score some good points and came away with silver.

The talented Kayla Lee had the toughest of matches, against a black-belt with more experience and exposure to competition in Europe. Kayla went into the match determined to match her competitor. However, once the fight reached the second round Kayla’s opponent managed to relax and stamp her authority on the match, with Kayla picking up a well-earned silver medal.

Finally Ciaran Docherty and Greg Kerr were part of the biggest category of the day. Greg had one of the most exciting matches in his semi-final, racing into the lead with some well-timed body shots. In the second and third rounds his opponent managed to find his way back into the match and leveled the score, meaning a final, sudden death round had to be played. With confidence Greg threw the kick, won the point and celebrated making his way to the final.

Ciaran, fighting in the same division was on a quest to continue his 100 per cent record in his taekwondo career, on the back of the Scottish Open 2011 in November. His semi-final was the only thing standing in the way of meeting team-mate Greg in the final match to battle for gold. Ciaran lost some points in the first round. However, he switched on in the second and managed to overturn the lead, maintaining his dominance in the third round.

Ciaran and Greg had to fight to claim the gold medal. The scoring was level through all three rounds until Ciaran snuck a point in the last five seconds to take gold, with silver going to Greg.

Taekwondo World Champion and Athens 2004 Olympic gold medalist Chu Mu Yen of Taiwan (pictured) was in attendance at the event, and gave praise to the young players, particularly to young Ciaran.

If you are interested in learning this Olympic and Commonwealth sport, Raw Taekwondo meet at Abronhill High School every Thursday night from 7-8 pm. New members are always welcome.