Golden boy Max Hlavac, six.

Daventry’s youngest ever national Taekwondo champion crowned in Worcester

Golden boy Max, six, is double English champion

By Lucie Green
Tuesday, 15th March 2022, 10:54 am
Updated Tuesday, 15th March 2022, 10:56 am

Meet Daventry's golden boy Max Hlavac.

The six-year-old schoolboy is Daventry's youngest ever national Taekwondo champion.

Daventry and Woodford students once again showed their class on Sunday at the Tae Kwon-Do Association of Great Britain English Championships - the biggest national Taekwondo tournament since the Covid pandemic hit.

Nearly 1,400 competitors from across the UK, and a large visiting contingent from Poland, converged on the Worcester Arena to contest for titles earlier this month.

Mark Robson, 4th Dan Instructor with Daventry Tigers, said: "Max really was the story of the day.

"He was one of the youngest competitors on the day, and is certainly the youngest ever national champion from Daventry. His grin said it all and we couldn't be prouder of him."

Yellow belt division Max won gold in the huge boys’ under-16’s yellow belt Individual Patterns event and gold in the under-16’s Yellow Belt Team Patterns with Heather Howard,12, and Hilanur Ozcan, 13,

Heather also took double gold in Individual and Team Patterns.

While in the Men’s Yellow Belts, James Leaper claimed gold on a fantastic competition debut in the Men’s Individual Patterns, and then went on to add a bronze in the Tag Team Sparring event.

In the Green Belt girls, it was the two sisters, Chloe and Amelia Carpenter who shone brightest. Both made it through the cut to the final eight, with Chloe winning silver and Amelia just losing out in a play-off for bronze, finishing in fourth place.

In the Blue Belt Boys’ Division it was definitely a good day for Oisin Adams who brought home bronze in the Individual Patterns, added another bronze in the Individual Sparring, a third bronze with team mates, Kaden Roche and Isabella Sills in the team patterns and topped it off with a gold in the Tag Team Sparring with fellow Daventry student, Derin Yildirim.

In the Blue Belt Girls, it was Bronwyn Harrison who had the best day, winning bronze in the Individual Sparring, silver in the Team Patterns with Holly Howard and Madison Bull, and silver in the Tag Team Sparring with Daniella Kaufman and Isla Boddington.

In the Blue Belt Ladies, Daventry’s fiercely competitive Denise Hackett powered her way into a superb bronze medal winning position in a very competitive division.

In the Men’s Individual Blue Belt events, Daryl Dunkley fought through to win an impressive bronze in the Men’s Welterweights and then added a gold in Team Patterns with Woodford Halse’s Gina Burgess and Charlotte Easom.

Mark added: "The Green/Blue Belt Team Patterns events turned into a battle for first between two of our teams: Chris Sills, Tom Lewington and Vijay Iyer, who named their team ‘Snap, Crackle and Pop’, presumably referencing the noise their joints make as they perform.

"They eventually triumphed over ‘The Mummy Ninjas’: Laura Yildirim, Sam Kaufman and Denise Hackett, who are the mums of one of Daventry’s star teams ‘The Mini-Ninjas’, who once again claimed gold in the junior Red Belt Division.

"It was a good day for Daventry and Woodford’s Red Belts, too. Alara Yildirim once again showed her dominance in the massive girls’ red belt divisions by winning triple gold in Individual Patterns, Individual sparring and Team Patterns, with Daniella Kaufman and Caoimhe Adams, and narrowly missing out on a clean sweep by being pipped at the post into silver in the Tag Team Sparring event with two of her friends from other clubs."

In the Ladies’ Individual Red Belt Patterns, Woodford’s Gina Burgess once more reached the podium, adding an Individual silver to her collection and then added gold later in the Team Patterns with Daryl and Charlotte.

Derin Yildirim finally made the frame at national level by winning bronze in the Boys’ Individual Red Belt division, later adding a gold in Tag Team Sparring with fellow Daventry student, Oisin Adams and a friend from another club.

In the Black Belt Boys Division, William O’Toole powered through the Cadet Boy’s Black Belt Middleweight division to claim his first national individual sparring title.

"William has previously won several regional titles, but has had to wait some years to make his break-through at National level," Mark added.

"This was a particularly impressive win by him."

In the Girls’ Black Belts, Lauren Hughes set her sights on her first title since moving into the division last year, finishing in a silver medal position.

Mark said Daventry have yet to claim a National Gold in this division, the closest result to date being Mabelle Gwilliam who has in the past won silver in the Welsh Championships and bronze in the British Championships.

The instructor continued: "But Lauren has a Golden pedigree, having won national golds at virtually every coloured belt level, and World Championship Gold as a Green Belt in 2018. Once again her eyes narrowed and she produced a stunning display of power and precision only to be pipped into silver in the final round. I suspect she won’t settle for silver, but will be gunning for gold again at the next national event.

"Later in the tournament she teamed up again with her two fiercest Daventry rivals, Selina Yildirim and Emily Easom to reform Team ‘In Synch’, which has been out of action for the last five months since Selina broke her arm in an unfortunate gymnastics accident last year. Together again, they once again proved unstoppable, taking the Black Belt division by storm and continuing their 4-year unbeaten run of golds in all regional and National Team Patterns events."

In the Cadet Black Belt Girls (15-17-year-olds), it was a tough day for Mabelle Gwilliam who narrowly missed out on a medal in the Individual Patterns events, losing a play-off for bronze and finishing a frustrating fourth. Then in the Team Patterns event, despite going into the competition as slight favourites over Team ‘In Synch’ she and her team mates, William O’Toole and Taylor Ridley, had to endure a nail-biting play-off for silver, having already had to sit and applaud their younger class mates’ inspired outright winning performance. They did, however, win their play-off and brought home a well-deserved team silver.

Mark said: "Daventry and Woodford students won 23 golds, 21 silvers and 13 bronzes, making it one of the most successful national tournaments in the history of the clubs."

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