Stortford taekwondo black belt Christine Abbott wins world title
Christine Abbott was overjoyed to massively exceed her expectations and strike gold at the Taekwondo International World Championships.
The Bishop’s Stortford & Epping Taekwon-do member just wanted to do her best as her family, boyfriend James and friends watched on at the Birmingham Arena.
And so she was thrilled to become the ladies’ black belt flyweight world champion at the event, which saw more than 2,000 hopefuls from across the globe battling it out for titles.
“I went there with no expectations – I just thought I would do my best and see how I did,” said Abbott, 27.
“I’ve done a number of competitions before as a coloured belt and did the world championships two years ago, so I knew it would be hard this time as a black belt.
“I just tried to keep a cool head in the final and not overthink things. It was hard work, but it felt better in the second round and I think that’s where I won it.”
Abbott, who works in accounts for Stortford-based firm Aspoeck and lives in Sawbridgeworth, has done martial arts since she was a child.
She mainly did karate until she went to the University of East Anglia in Norwich to study business management. There was not a karate club there, so she took up taekwondo instead and then joined the Stortford club on her return home six years ago.
The former Leventhorpe School student, who became a black belt almost two years ago, came through three fights to reach the final, where she defeated a feared competitor from Poland over two two-minute rounds.
Abbott competed alongside clubmates Josh Deller, Suliman Khan, Nick Chapman, Michael Barford, Suzanne Wolfe and coach and fourth dan Colin Mowatt, while Julie Taylor and Cerys O’Connor were on umpire duty.
Khan competed in patterns and sparring on the first day. His performance in the former was excellent, but he finished just outside the medals.
Khan, who trains alongside his aunt and cousins, three of whom are black belts, then won his first three fights in sparring to pick up a bronze medal.
The second day was for cadets and black belts. Deller was moved up to the middleweight division and won his first round 5-4 against a taller opponent before losing to the eventual gold medallist.
Mowatt, Wolfe, Barford and Chapman also went close but were unable to bag medals in massive executive divisions.
“We are very proud of every one of our students and over the moon to now have a world champion in our ranks,” said Mowatt.