Newsletter Newsletter 2/2006 Open Challenge Cup, Belgium
Newsletter 2/2006
Open Challenge Cup, Belgium

The Open Challenge Cup was held on 28th May 2006 in the beautiful City of Gent in Belgium. Over 180 junior and senior competitors participated from six countries; Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Ireland, Portugal and Moldova.


First of all we must compliment the championship organiser Mr. Johan Van Hecke, on the high quality sports facilities and accommodation which he and his team arranged. The international competitors who travelled to the event had the chance to stay in the Sports Hotel at Blaarmeersen, which is modelled on an Olympic Village. This is a superb newly constructed hotel especially for international athletes adjacent to very high quality sports facilities, including a restaurant with an excellent menu designed specifically for athletes by leading sports nutritionists.


The sports hotel is located next to the sports centre which is very convenient for the competitors. The organisation of the championship was very professional; the competition took place on 3 areas each 9x9m matted competition rings. The finals all took place on the centre ring and were televised by the local television station. Unfortunately the organisers had some problems with the computer system which caused some delays for the senior black belt divisions. Aside from this administrative difficulty this high level of organisation for an open championships is a very good promotion for ITF Taekwon-Do in Europe.

The event began with the junior categories, there were some fantastic performances from the young competitors showing good technical standard in both pattern and sparring from all the participating clubs.


In the senior category there were some very exciting matches especially the bouts between Ivan Clement (Netherlands) versus Donal O'Donoghue (Ireland) and Patrick Crevecoeur (Belgium) versus Karl Kelly (Ireland). The spectators made a great atmosphere and were very motivated to see high level Taekwon-Do at its best.

Some very good coaches brought teams to the event, including; Mr. Willy Van De Mortel, Netherlands, Mr. Chiel Rombout, Netherlands, Mr. Pascal Raeijmaekers, Belgium and Mr. Emmanuel Fantacci, Belgium. The tournament was attended by AA from Ireland - the Irish Taekwon-Do Association (ITA) Eastern Region Development Academy.

Again many thanks to Mr. Johan Van Hecke and his team at “Chon-Ji Oostakker” for hosting the Open Challenge Cup and to Chief Umpire Mr. Eddy Van Damme and his team.

More photos from the championships can be viewed on

Yours in Taekwon-Do
Stephen Cooley V Dan
Irish Taekwon-Do Association

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