Saejin Yi, a member of Hi 5 Taekwondo of El Dorado Hills, took part in the recent 2014 US National Team Trials held in San Jose.
She and her two teammates, Stephany Kim and Margaret Kim of Southern California, won first place gold medals.
The 20-year-old college sophomore, trained by Master Jong Yol Yi, competed in the Team Poomsae Division (Forms), Senior Female I, against all of the United States’ strongest taekwondo competitors. With a gold medal around her neck to prove it, she is now on the U.S. National Team.
Of the nine athletes selected to represent the United States in the poomsae divisions, Margaret Kim (University of California, San Diego), Stephany Kim (University of California, Los Angeles) and Saejin Yi (California State University) won the female team spot. However, because they could not attend the team trip, they were replaced by first alternates Carissa Fu, Miyako Yerick (University of Texas at Austin) and Michelle Chen (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).
Saejin, a fourth-degree black belt, is currently a Master Instructor at Hi 5 Taekwondo. She graduated from Ponderosa High School in Shingle Springs and is currently in college majoring in physical therapy.
Master Jong Yi is a Kukkiwon certified sixth-degree black belt with more than 30 years of teaching experience. He is also a World Taekwondo Federation Certified International Poomsae and Sparring Referee; a regional USA Taekwondo Poomsae Instructor,and was previously the UC Davis Team Instructor/Coach.
Saejin is now training to compete in the WTF World Taekwondo Poomsae Championships in Aguascalientes, Mexico, Oct. 30 through Nov. 2, 2014.