Girl power rocks the Hanmadang World Championships |

Girl power rocks the Hanmadang World Championships

Master Sloan Cameron (left) performs the Athletes Oath at the World Championships recently. (PROVIDED)

As the dust has settled in Rio and many champions have taken home their gold, there was another World Championship not to be overshadowed.

For the first time, the World Taekwondo Hanmadang Championships added women’s power breaking to its prestigious list of entries. Women worldwide answered the call. Among them, representing the first team sent from the U.S. Open Taekwondo Hanmadang was current world record holder, Master Sloane Cameron of Eugene, Oregon. In 2015, Cameron set the world record at the U.S. Open Taekwondo Hanmadang Championships by breaking 11 one-inch boards. The men’s record is 12 one-inch boards.

Witnessing the world record was Master Doug Fuechsel, U.S. Taekwondo Committee executive director, who runs the Pro-TKD studio in Carbondale. He asked Cameron if she was headed to the World Championships with that break only to find out that women weren’t allowed to power break. And so began the journey to right this wrong. U.S. Taekwondo Committee president, Grand Master Sang Chul Lee, was brought into the mix, and the three of them began a lobby of emails, phone calls and personal visits. Success came quickly, and in March it was announced that women’s power breaking would be part of the 2016 World Taekwondo Hanmadang Championships.

This year’s World Championships was the largest ever, hosting 60 countries with 4,753 participants. Women’s power breaking included the countries of the Unities States, Korea, Malaysia, Lebanon, Iran and India. Cameron was first up in the bracketing, which led to the first women’s power breaking world champion.

The three members of the U.S. Open Taekwondo Hanmadang Power Breaking Team that represented the United States all medaled.

Master Tim Greathouse won bronze in all around breaking, while Jackie Ehlers won silver in the all-around breaking and Cameron decidedly won gold in side kick and back kick power breaking.

Lee, who was United States head of team, was pleased with the team’s performance and the success of the debut of Women’s Power Breaking at the World Championships. He was instrumental in getting the World Hanmadang to adopt women’s power breaking and in raising the profile for women. Through his leadership and recommendation, Master Il Sup Kim of the World Hanmadang Organizing Committee chose Cameron to represent the 4,753 athletes by taking the Athletes oath in front of the World Kukkiwon President at the Opening Ceremonies. Additionally, she was chosen to receive her gold medal at Closing Ceremonies.

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