Three Xavier Taekwondo athletes will spend the first weekend of October in Montreal, as participants in the 2019 Canada Open.
The Open is an international competition with fighters coming from across the globe to fight at the Claude Robillard Sports Complex.
Cole Allen will be competing in his second Canada Open after attending in 2017. He will be in the junior 51 KG division which includes 11 athletes from Canada, the U.S., Chile and Mexico.
Ewan and Keira Macduff will be competing in their first international event.
Ewan will compete in the junior 63 KG division; a division featuring 19 athletes from Canada, the U.S. Chile and Brazil.
Keira will compete in the junior 59 KG division which features 13 athletes, hailing from Canada, the U.S. and Australia.
“Cole’s and Ewan’s last major competition was the 2019 National Championships, where Cole finished in second place and Ewan finished fifth,” Xavier head coach Jeremy Reeve wrote in an email to the Casket. “This will be Keira’s first major event.
“They started to prepare for this at the start of July and it has been five days a week.”
Cole said a couple of keys he has learned over his time competing are the importance of a proper warm-up and getting rest between fights.
“There are a lot of people, I remember that,” he said of his previous Canada Open experience.
He wasn’t aware there will be 11 fighters in his division when talking to the Casket Sept. 25, but did add, no matter how many, he expects very strong competition.
Ewan and Keira both noted being more aggressive and going on the offence earlier, has been a focus of their preparation for Montreal.
“Because, normally, I’m pretty much a defensive fighter,” Keira said, adding she is excited to attend her first international event to “see what they’re all about.”
Ewan elaborated on the focus.
“We’ve been working on really attacking and being more aggressive as far as our strategy goes. Not waiting for the opponent to go first all the time,” Ewan said, adding that is part of the mental preparation to go along with all the physical training.
“I’m pretty sure my division will be one of the biggest ones there, so I’m just looking to get in a lot of fights, fight new people, see what is working right now and what is not [for me], and as far as other people are concerned, as well.”
Keira noted her goal is simply to gain more experience at major events.
“I think my group is going to be pretty big too, so I hope to get in a few good fights,” she said.