FOUR local taekwondo aficionados are preparing for trip of a lifetime as they gear up for the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) World Titles.
Tanea Ruttley, Lachlan Capmer and Lucas Logan will join instructor and competitor Paul Daniels at the titles to be held in Jamaica in August.
The four competitors are all members of Shoalhaven Authentic Taekwon-Do, and have been honing their skills at the St Georges Basin Country Club in preparation for worlds.
The Shoalhaven team was selected on the national squad after impressing at two training sessions on the Central Coast that included intense drills and sparring.
“I didn’t expect four of us to get on the team so it was a really good result,” said Daniels.
Ruttley, 18, from Sanctuary Point will compete at her first world titles in the lightweight junior individual sparring and individual patterns.
She joins 15-year-old Vincentia junior hyperweight, Capmer, who will compete in the individual sparring and special technique, and the team sparring, power breaking and patterns.
Fifteeen-year-old St Georges Basin junior heavyweight, Logan, will compete in individual sparring and power breaking, and team sparring patterns, powerbreaking and special technique.
Daniels, 33, will compete in the senior heavyweight division in all team events and individually in sparring and patterns.
It is not Daniels’ first time at worlds.
He competed in London in 2013 and brought home gold in the team power breaking and bronze in the team patterns.
“This year I am hoping to get gold in the individual sparring because last year I had a blown out ankle for nine months before the tournament so I couldn’t walk for a while,” he said.
Daniels was also confident about his teammates’ chances.
“Lachlan definitely looks in very good form in special techniques and I really think he is in for a medal chance,” he said.
“Lucas is crazy in sparring so could really do well, and I expect Tanea to be strong in the sparring as well.”
The four will travel to Maroochydore in a month to earn their final gradings before worlds.
There will be a fund-raising barbecue this Sunday at Joyce Mayne South Nowra for anyone wishing to meet the team and show their support.