Japanese show top form at taekwondo event

PUBLISHED : Monday, 22 October, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 22 October, 2007, 12:00am

A total of 230 taekwondo masters from around the world took part in the Cyberport Cup International Taekwon-Do Federation Hong Kong (ITFHK) Open Tournament 2007 earlier this month.

Competitors from South Korea, Japan, Australia, Britain, Malaysia, Scotland, Macau and Hong Kong were divided into senior (above 18 years) and junior age groups. Then they were placed into different categories based on their weight and belt colours.

The powerful Japanese team swept all the gold, silver and bronze medals in the over-18 male individual black belt sparring (under 63 kilograms, lightweight) category.

'It [the tournament] attracts high-level practitioners worldwide, especially taekwondo masters in Asia. It's a great opportunity for us to meet and learn from our counterparts,' said Tomoyasu Kataoka, winner of the black belt sparring (under 71kg, middleweight) category.

Tomoyasu beat Philip Miller and Derek Macfariane, both from Britain, to be crowned champion.

The two-day tournament, co-organised by Cyberport and ITFHK, attracted a large crowd.

The organisers also invited practitioners of kick boxing, Thai boxing and Chinese sanda to take on taekwondo masters to demonstrate the different forms of martial arts.