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Oldest member NZ Taekwon-Do team quietly confident ahead of trip to Germany

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The New Zealand ITF Taekwon-Do team departs tonight for the World Championships in Inzell, Germany and is aiming high again.

There are a number of medal contenders in the 49-person team which has a youngest competitor in Carter Hall age 14 from Auckland and the oldest being Brendan Doogan at 39 year from the Dragon Spirit Club in Papatoetoe who is a 5th dan black belt and is attending his fifth ITF World Championships.

His list of highlights include being an international instructor and umpire, a world champion in breaking, Assistant New Zealand Coach, and a member of the Standards and Discipline and Tournament Advisor Groups

He’s also managed to complete a side piercing kick on top of an elephant, but that’s another story.

The New Zealand team has a strong spread around country and is rated as one of the ‘big’ nations to beat out of the over 60 countries which are entered with over 1200 athletes taking part.

"We’ve got a pretty strong team. We haven’t been out of the top three for the past 10 years or out of the top five for the past 15 years which is quite amazing. We’ve now reached a technical level where we can medal in all five events in all categories and not just any medal, but gold. The chances I think are really very high we’ll end up in the top three and of course aiming for the top spot, we’re all aiming for gold medals," says Doogan who isn’t sure how many more world champs he’ll take part in.

"I’m approaching 40 and there’s definitely an upper limit to how resilience you are. You can definitely be strong and smart, it’s just your recovery time does taper off a little bit. We’ll just see the results of this one and go from there."

Being able to compete around the world in his chosen sport is a great bonus for Doogan, but also giving back to the community is a big incentive too.

"I was a teacher up until three years ago, now I’m teaching Taekwon-Do in schools, primary, intermediate and secondary from self-defence, awareness and fitness and it appears to be going down very well with teachers and students."

"It’s a great sport to be a part of and it’s going to be an exciting time in Germany, we all can’t wait to get stuck in," says Doogan

Over the past ten years New Zealand has had great success at world championships, finishing second in Argentina in 2009, winning the title in 2011 in Wellington, finishing third in Spain in 2013, before winning the title two years later in 2015 and finished a close second to hosts Ireland in 2017.

The ITF Taekwon-Do World Championships run from 24-28 April at Inzell, Germany.

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