Fourteen-year-old Aidan MacDonald, Xavier Taekwondo, won bronze at the 2014 World Junior team selection event Dec. 1 in Montreal.
MacDonald defeated Chanelle Hunter, Ontario, 7-0 in opening round action before dropping an 8-3 decision to the defending champion Rowena Lau. She lost a 5-1 to Hunter in double-elimination action.
Coach Jeremy Reeve said MacDonald fought extremely well in her first stint in the Under-17 division.
“She was two to three years younger than the other competitors, so it will take a while for her to get accustomed to the division,” Reeve said.
“Aidan was fighting at 36 kilos, so she was well under the 42-kilo weight class. When you look at the size difference Aidan fought amazingly well. Hunter placed second in the weight class last year and Lau had a lot more size and strength than Aidan.”
MacDonald said she had a good experience, noting she knew in advance the challenge she would face.
“It’s a big jump moving up to that weight and age level,” she said.
“I think I competed as well as I could and hopefully next year I’ll be a lot better.”
MacDonald has enjoyed success in the sport and won bronze at the Pan American Taekwondo Championships Sept. 20 to 21 in Queretaro, Mexico. A first-degree black belt, MacDonald has been competing in the sport for the past four years.
She is the 2012 national silver medalist and the 2011 bronze medalist and grabbed a spot on the Canadian team with a gold medal performance at the Canada Open Championships in Toronto last May. The teen scored a 6-3 victory over Sydney Stofanoff in the gold medal match.
The local teen competed in the Toronto Open, Nov. 17, placing third in a field of nine competitors. MacDonald won her opening match 11-1 against an opponent from Ontario before dropping an 11-3 result against an American athlete. She won bronze with an 11-3 victory over a representative from Ontario.
“There were six or seven countries at the competition,” Reeve said.
Reeve said MacDonald has been very busy the past five months, so she will take a break before focusing on the Canada Open in February in Montreal.
“That tournament usually draws competitors from 15 or so countries,” he said.
Despite the hectic training and competition schedule, MacDonald said she is enjoying the routine.
“It’s stressful at times, but I enjoy travelling to different places and competing. I always look forward to the next event.”