Twelve-year-old Allison Prior of El Dorado Hills traveled to Austin, Texas, last month to compete in the 12-13 year old Cadet 2 category in Sports Poomsae (forms) at USA Taekwondo’s 2011 U.S. Open. She topped all opponents.
Allison’s field of competitors consisted of 22 athletes who traveled from Korea, Mexico, Canada, and 11 states. In the first round she competed in one form and was ranked fourth among the field. In the final round of eight, Allison skillfully executed two forms and outscored her seven opponents in both forms, to earn the gold medal.
This win marks the second time she has won the gold medal at the U.S. Open (2009) and follows her bronze medal performance at the Junior Olympics last summer. Allison is a 2nd degree black belt and has been training in taekwondo for the past six years.
Allison trains six days a week under the watchful eye of Master John Jonghun Yi at Elite Taekwondo USA in Cameron Park, located in Burke’s Junction. Master Yi has an unwavering demand for excellence and believes in his taekwondo roots which started in Korea more than 30 years ago. He holds a 6th Degree Black Belt and is a Kukkiwon Certified Master, a US National Certified Class A-1 Referee and a U.S. National Certified Coach.
When asked how she was able to be successful at the tournament, Allison responded, “Master Yi prepares me mentally, physically and emotionally. He makes training fun, but has high expectations.”
When he texted Allison before the competition Master Yi told Allison, “Have fun and know you are the BEST.”
USA Taekwondo’s 2011 U.S. Open was held at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas, Feb. 17-21. This year’s event marked the 20th anniversary of the event and featured a star-studded field of more than 1,000 athletes, including numerous world and Olympic medalists. There were 55 nations represented, including 29 national teams, and the United States had competitors from 40 states.
For the second straight year, the World Taekwondo Federation gave the U.S. Open a G-2 rating, the highest ranking available for an open tournament.