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Parksville Qualicum Beach taekwondo athletes bring home medals from national tilt

Cascadia Martial Arts to host 2023 Island Open Taekwondo Championships
Team Cascadia Martial Ares celebrate their medal win at the 2023 Canadian National Taekwondo Championships in Toronto. (Submitted photo)

Team Cascadia Martials Arts brought home a bag of medals from the 2023 Canadian National Taekwondo Championships held in Toronto Jan. 10.

Members of the Parksville club pitted their skills against black belt athletes from across Canada in both sparring and poomsae (fighting patterns). They collected two silver, and three bronze medals in the sparring competition.

Matteo Bennett competed in the junior light middle weight division (63-68 kg) and earned a silver medal. Leading up to the the gold medal final he beat Matel Florea of Chu’s Martial Arts World Inc. from Markham, Ont. in his first fight in the junior level. Bennett duplicated the feat when he bested Brandon Tang of Sarnia Olympic Taekwondo in the semi-finals.

But Bennett, who was a cadet national champion and represented Canada at international tournaments in Costa Rica and Bulgaria, lost a good fight to Ilya Lenco of Xavier Taekwondo Club from Nova Scotia in the battle for gold.

READ MORE: Parksville’s Black Rock Martial Arts fighters earn medals at Western Canadian tilt

Oscar Brown took silver in the junior men 68-73 kg division. He had a bye in the first round and in the semi-finals beat Lucian Karo of A.T. Martial Arts from Ontario. He lost to Victor Beaudet of Club de Tekwondo Repentigny from Quebec in the final.

Two of Cascadia’s senior fighters, Sherman Campbell and Sydney Easthom, both made it to the winners’ podium when they each earned a bronze medal in sparring. It was their first ever medal wins in the senior level. Campbell competed in the 58 kg male division while Easthom was in the 57 kg female division.

Danielle Easthom also collected a bronze when she finished third in the 63 kg junior female division. Jared Dudley competed in the 45 kg cadet male division but lost a close match against the eventual division winner.

In the poomsae division (fighting patterns), Wendy Wilkins earned a gold medal in team event and added a silver in the individual competition.

“I’m extremely proud of our local athletes as they consistently reach the podium and push for spots on the national team,” said instructor and coach, Dustin Fee.

Meanwhile, Cascadia Martial Arts will be staging the 2023 Island Open Taekwondo Championships 0n March 11. It’s a friendly open event that is primarily geared for first time taekwondo competitors.

To register for the tournament, you can go to

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Michael Briones

About the Author: Michael Briones

I rejoined the PQB News team in April 2017 from the Comox Valley Echo, having previously covered sports for The NEWS in 1997.
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