Led by Carson Benedict, members of Kelowna’s Quest Martial Arts Academy made their presence felt at the Open Tae Kwon-do International World Championships, July 12 to 14 in Coventry, England.
Benedict won a gold and silver medal during the three-day competition, which featured close to 3,000 competitors from 21 different countries.
Benedict took top spot in patterns in his division which consisted of 60 competitors. He also took third in sparring for his weight class.
Benedict was joined at the championships by Quest teammates Jon Zaleski, Lindsey Tetlock, Mikael Johnson and instructor Chris Rowe.
“With that many players from around the world it can be overwhelming, but our group and everyone who competed did very well just to get on the floor and compete,” said Rowe.
Zaleski, who has won at the world level previously, won gold in men’s heavyweight sparring, defeating and long-time rival Steven Miller of the U.S. in the semi-finals, then Great Britain champ Tim Chow in front of a partisan home crowd.
“While our school does not focus entirely on competitions, it is a nice way to see where you are at in your skill level against other martial artists, “added Rowe. “It also helps students of all ages work on their confidence and give them goals to work towards so that they are always striving to do their best.”