After a busy four weeks of final assignments, revision and taking final exams for her BSc (Hons) Mechanical Design and Manufacture degree at the University, the G1 Greece Open in Thessaloniki was Katie’s first chance to compete without studies to consider.
Katie’s opponent for this match was World #7 Tijana Bogdanovic from Serbia who has recently qualified to compete at the Rio 2016 Olympics. Katie knew there was a tough challenge ahead of her.
“There are no easy competitions or easy matches. Seniors is hard and I have to fight some of the top women in the world and most of them train full-time. But that’s OK, you have to fight the best to learn from the best and I treat every one of these matches as a challenge and a chance to learn and improve.”
Katie’s game plan was to have a good defence and to block well, while trying to get the majority of her points on the counter-attack. Unfortunately, due to Tijana’s strength and flexibility she got Katie on the head within the first ten seconds of the match. Katie knew that she was already behind after that first point. However, despite the headshot, Katie held up a strong defence for the rest of the first round but was unlucky in not being able to score.
As round two began, Katie rapidly improved, though she just missed out on scoring body shots due to lack of force to make an impact. Katie was then taken by surprise when Tijana got her with a light headshot and a back kick, and unfortunately, the match was stopped and came to a disappointing end, and Tijana defeated Katie by 12 points.
Afterwards, Katie said:
“I was very disappointed, but I know I tried my best, gave it everything I had and I did actually make some improvements in my game that day. Tijana went on to win the gold medal as expected, so I was just unlucky to get her so early in the open event, but that’s just life in Taekwondo.”
When competing abroad Katie does not have a regular coach which makes things difficult for her, though Katie was grateful for help from a coach at Kixstar Taekwondo in London who enabled her to compete in this competition.
Next up for Katie is a small UK competition in Doncaster where she will be officiating, followed by the G1 Luxembourg Open on 9 July, a training camp with Tijana’s coach in Serbia 14-19 July and lastly Katie will proudly represent the University of Plymouth at the European University Student Games in Rijecka, Croatia 23-25 July.
After a short break, it all starts again in September for Katie with events in Poland, Latvia and the British National Championships to name a few.
Our University is proud to support Katie with a Sporting Excellence Scholarship, and we are delighted that Katie had completed her first year at the University with great academic and sporting results.