U.S. finishes fourth in CISM Tae Kwon Do
Stars and Stripes May 28, 2008
The U.S. All Armed Forces Tae Kwon Do team fought its way to a fourth-place finish in a worldwide military tournament in Seoul that ended Tuesday.
Two of the nine team members took medals, battling against the best military fighters from 36 other countries during the 18th annual Conseil International du Sport Militaire’s World Military Tae Kwon Do Championship at the Korean Armed Forces Athletic Corps Complex in Seoul that began Friday.
Army Staff Sgt. David Bartlett took his gold medal in the welterweight division without a single kick during the final match.
Bartlett beat competitors from South Korea, Cyprus, Russia and Greece before facing Italian Carlo Molfepta, who forfeited the match.
Bartlett, and other tournament officials, said they thought Molfepta, who plans to compete in the Olympics, may have forfeited to avoid injury.
"My style of fighting would have really injured him," Bartlett said. "But who bows out in the finals?"
In the women’s flyweight division, Seaman Jaime Houston came back from a 5-4 loss against a German opponent to beat her Kazakh foe 2-1 for the bronze medal.
Houston said she thought she could have done better, but was pleased with third place.
"It feels good to be in the spotlight a little bit," she said.
The team is composed mostly of soldiers assigned to the Army World Class Athlete Program in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Most lost in the early rounds of competition.
Coach Patrice Remarck said the team has skilled fighters, but they lack international experience.
"You could have skill, but you need to be seasoned," he said.
Team captain Bartlett was optimistic about future competitions.
"This is a young team — a new team, which in the future will be a strong team," he said.
The U.S. team finished behind South Korea, Iran and Italy.
Competitors fought through three two-minute rounds per match, scoring points for strikes to the chest and head.
The next CISM Tae Kwon Do tournament is slated to take place in Vietnam in 2009.
CISM: ‘Fostering friendship through sport’
SEOUL — One of the largest sports organizations in the world, the Counseil International du Sport Militaire is composed of 131 member nations dedicated to "fostering friendship through sport."
CISM, which organizes competitive sporting events between military forces, was founded Feb. 18, 1948, by representatives from Belgium, Denmark, Luxemburg, France and the Netherlands.
By 1950 the organization had grown to include nine European nations as well as Argentina and Egypt. The United States joined in 1951.
In 1995 CISM hosted 127 member nations at the first Military World Games in Rome, which featured more than 4,000 military athletes participating in 17 sports.
Since then the Military World Games have taken place every four years at locations around the world. The next is scheduled to take place in Brazil in 2011.
Source: CISM Web Site.