Carson City’s Chi Duong has qualified for the 10th World Tae Kwon Do Poomsae championships set for Sept. 29-Oct. 2 in Lima, Peru.
Duong beat Kent Nickell of Iowa in the finals of the Men’s 61-65 Division and is going to the World Championships for a third time. The U.S. Trials were held the last week of August in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Duong won a Bronze Medal in the 2013 World Championships and a Silver Medal in the 2014 World Championships. No championships were held in 2015. They were scheduled for Viet Nam – Duong’s native country – but were canceled and not reset elsewhere.
Moving up to the gold medal will be a challenge for Duong, who runs the Chi Kwan TaeKwonDo school in the Carson Mall in Carson City.
In each of the last two championships, Duong was outscored by Jeong Cheol Kim of Spain, who is a native of Korea.
Kim has won the last three world championships in the division, dating back to 2012. Duong also has to get past co-bronze medalists Galip Yalcin Kaya of Turkey and Michael Pejic of Great Britain, who tied for the bronze medal in the 2014 games.
“Kim is very good. I don’t know if I can beat him,’’ said Duong. “I just hope to get onto the podium.’’
In Poomsae, there are no bouts, per se. Instead, each athlete performs a routine that is scored like gymnastics for accuracy, speed, power and presentation.
Duong has won the gold in the U.S. Open four times — in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016. He did not compete in the 2015 U.S. Open.
The U.S. team finished third in total medals in the 2014 games with Duong winning one of four silver medals. The U.S. also won four golds and 11 bronze medals.
Unfortunately, the U.S. Tae Kwon Do does not finance travel, hotel and meals for the athletes. Participants must pay their own way. To help offset costs, Duong is accepting donations to help defer his travel expense. His airline ticket alone costs $1,200 and he also must pay a hotel bills for seven days of $155 a day or another $1,085. Other expenses are expected to total $2,500 more.
Duong will travel to San Jose, Calif, and depart from San Francisco. He leaves Sept. 26.
Those wishing to help should send or take donations to the Chi Tae Kwon Do School in the Carson Mall. The address is 1223 South Carson Street, Carson City, NV 89701. He can be reached at 775-885-0547.
Donations for Duong will also be accepted at Affordable Healthcare Pros, 2307 N. Carson Street, Carson City, 89706. All checks should be made payable to Chi Duong.