Four Locals Aiming For National Team
Jewelian Blackbird, Danielle Ennett, Urvashi Thongam and Chloe Pretty are pushing to make the Canadian squad.
Ennett, 16, is from Sarnia and competes in the 68-kg-plus weight class; Thongam is a 17-year-old Sarnia resident in the 46-49 kg class; 14-year-old Pretty from Petrolia is in the 44-46 kg class; and Blackbird, 16, from Walpole Island competes in the 59-63 kg class.
Ennett and Blackbird are the No. 1 seeds in their divisions for the upcoming selections, while Pretty is ranked second and Thongam is last year’s national champion.
The national squad will compete in Mexico this Fall.
“It’s one entry per weight class, so there’s a realistic chance of all four local competitors qualifying,” said Ryan Formosa, owner of Cobra’s Taekwondo in Chatham.
Pretty, enters with a bronze medal at the U.S. Open in Orlando, one of the bigger taekwondo tournaments in the world already to her name.
“That gave her a big boost in the rankings,” said Formosa.
Previous results, plus an upcoming national competition in Montreal are combined to decide who comprises the team, and most of the Chatham school’s competitors finished in first place in previous provincial events.
But as far as the national team ranking selections go, a medal at the competition, which takes place from June 26-28 will likely secure a spot on the team.
Keegan Kovar will also be competing in the youth black belt 27-30 kg class. Though there is no national team position for this age group, Keegan is determined to become Cobra’s Taekwondo youngest national champion.