An ever-changing life inspired by the pneuma


Olympic taekwondo – Sergerie in the women’s 67 kg and Michaud in the men’s 80 kg

In women’s 67 kg, Karine Sergerie wins her preliminary match over Australia’s Tina Morgan by the Rule of Superiority. Although the score was tied 0-0, she was clearly the dominant competitor having scored a point only losing it due to receiving two warnings (kyong-go in Korean). Sergerie performed stunningly in the quarterfinals defeating Argentina’s Vanina Paola Sanchez Beron by a score of 3-0. In the semifinals, Sergerie guarantees herself and Canada at least a silver medal by defeating Puerto Rico’s Asuncion Ocasio Rodriguez by a score of 2-0. Puerto Rico’s Ocasio Rodriguez will compete for the bronze medal. In the finals, Sergerie will fight against South Korea’s Hwang Kyungseon for the gold medal. The gold medal match will be at 8 a.m. ET.

In the men’s 80 kg, Sebastien Michaud defeats Angel Roman Martinez of Puerto Rico in the preliminary match by a score of 2-1 (won in sudden death overtime). In the quarterfinals, Michaud lost to Azerbaijan’s Rashad Ahmadov by the Rule of Superiority as it was tied 0-0 after sudden death overtime. Ahmadov scored one point but lost it due to receiving two kyong-gos. Because Michaud did not score a point, Ahmadov was ruled the superior competitor. Michaud would have moved to the repechage match only if Azerbaijan’s Ahmadov made it to the finals (gold medal match). Unfortunately, Ahmadov lost 4-1 to Iran’s Hadi Saei. The gold medal match for men’s 80 kg will be between Italy’s Mauro Sarmiento and Iran’s Saei at 8:15 a.m. ET.


Olympic taekwondo – women’s 57 kg and men’s 68 kg

South Korea wins double gold in taekwondo – first in the women’s 57 kg, then in the men’s 68 kg.

Lim Sujeong of South Korea defeated Su Li-Wen of Chinese Taipei in the preliminary match by a score of 1-0. In the quarterfinals, she defeated Robin Cheong of New Zealand with a final score of 4-1. In the semifinals, she sent Veronica Calabrese of Italy to the bronze medal match winning with a score of 5-1. In the finals, she won by a score of 1-0 to take the gold medal leaving silver for Turkey’s Azize Tanrikulu.

The bronze medal winners are Diana Lopez of the U.S.A. (who defeated Italy’s Calabrese in sudden death overtime) and Martina Zubcic of Croatia (who defeated Chinese Taipei’s Su Li-Wen in sudden death overtime).

In the men’s 68 kg, South Korea’s Son Taejin defeated Dennis Bekkers of the Netherlands in the preliminary match by a score of 4-3. In the quarterfinals, he defeated Turkey’s Servet Tazegul with a score of 1-0. In the semifinals, he won by a score of 7-6 sending Chinese Taipei’s Sung Yu-Chi to the bronze medal match. In the finals, he took the gold medal with a score of 3-2 leaving Mark Lopez of the U.S.A. with a silver medal.

The bronze medal winners are Turkey’s Tazegul (who defeated Peter Lopez of Peru – not related to Mark Lopez and family) and Chinese Taipei’s Sung Yu-Chi (who defeated Germany’s Daniel Manz).

Summary of medal winners:

Women’s 57 kg
Gold South Korea Lim Sujeong
Silver Turkey Azize Tanrikulu
Bronze U.S.A. Diana Lopez
Bronze Croatia Martina Zubcic

Men’s 68 kg
Gold South Korea Son Taejin
Silver U.S.A. Mark Lopez
Bronze Turkey Servet Tazegul
Bronze Chinese Taipei Sung Yu-Chi

Congrats to the medallists!



Taekwondo finals – China wins women’s 49 kg and Mexico wins men’s 58 kg

China’s Wu Jingyu defeats Thailand’s Buttree Puedpong capturing the gold medal in the women’s 49 kg and leaving Puedpong with a silver medal. The score was 1-(-1). Thailand’s Puedpong’s fight record in the contest was 1-0 over Cuba (won in overtime), 2-1 over Vietnam (won in overtime), and a win by superiority over Venezuela (the score was 2-2). China’s Wu’s fight record in the contest was 7-0 over Kenya, 8-1 over Sweden, and 4-1 over Chinese Taipei. Based on contest history, it looked like Wu was the dominant competitor going in. Puedpong gave Wu a run for the gold though, but unfortunately Puedpong couldn’t land a solid back kick on Wu.

Bronze medals went to Venezuela’s Dalia Contreras Rivero and Cuba’s Daynellis Montejo.

After losing the semi-final match to Thailand’s Puedpong, Contreras Rivero defeated Kenya’s Mildred Alango to win the bronze by a score of 1-0. Alango, after losing the preliminary match to China’s Wu, won by superiority over Sweden’s Hanna Zajc in the repechage round (Sweden’s Zajc lost to China’s Wu in the quarterfinals.)

Cuba’s Daynellis Montejo, having lost the preliminary match to Thailand’s Puedpong, surprised the audience and taekwondo fans by defeating Chinese Taipei’s Yang Shu-Chun, who was defeated in the semi-finals by China’s Wu. Montejo won the bronze 3-2 in overtime.

In the men’s 58 kg, Mexico’s Guillermo Perez won over Dominican Republic’s Yulis Gabriel Mercedes by superiority (the score was 1-1). In taekwondo, if a tie remains after sudden death overtime, the winner is determined by the Rule of Superiority. The more aggressive competitor is considered to be superior. The judges and the referee determined it was Perez who was superior in this match leaving Mercedes with a silver. Dominican Republic’s Mercedes’ fight record in the contest was 3-0 over Portugal, 3-2 over Chinese Taipei, and 3-2 over Spain (won in overtime). Mexico’s Perez’ fight record in the contest was 3-2 over Great Britain (won in overtime), 2-1 over Afghanistan, and 3-1 over Thailand.

Bronze medals went to Afghanistan’s Rohullah Nikpai and Chinese Taipei’s Chu Mu-Yen in the men’s 58 kg.

After losing the quarterfinals to Mexico’s Perez, Afghanistan’s Nikpai first defeated Great Britain’s Michael Harvey in the repechage round. (Harvey lost the preliminary match against Mexico’s Perez.) Nikpai went on to the bronze medal match defeating Spain’s Juan Antonio Ramos, who lost in the semifinal match to Dominican Republic’s Mercedes. Nikpai won the bronze by a score of 4-1.

Chinese Taipei’s Chu lost the quarterfinal match to Dominican Republic’s Perez, then went on to defeat Portugal’s Pedro Povoa in the repechage round. (Pedro Povoa was defeated in the preliminary match by Perez.) In the bronze medal match, Chu defeated Thailand’s Chutchawal Khawlaor, who lost the semifinals to Mexico’s Perez. Chu won the bronze by a score of 4-2.

Summary of medalists:

Women’s 49 kg:
Gold – China – Wu Jingyu
Silver – Thailand – Buttree Puedpong
Bronze – Venezuela – Dalia Contreras Rivero
Bronze – Cuba – Daynellis Montejo

Men’s 58 kg:
Gold – Mexico – Guillermo Perez
Silver – Dominican Republic – Yulis Gabriel Mercedes
Bronze – Afghanistan – Rohullah Nikpai
Bronze – Chinese Taipei – Chu Mu-Yen

Contest results for all matches today
Results for women’s 49 kg
Results for men’s 58 kg

Check with Thursday night to see Canada’s next two matches in taekwondo, Karine Sergerie in the women’s 67 kg and Sebastien Michaud in the men’s 80 kg.


Canada appeals loss in women’s taekwondo 49k

After Gonda lost her preliminary taekwondo match, Canada launched a protest claiming the judging was unfair. There were many kicks that could/should have scored in the match, but no points were awarded to Gonda in the match. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who thought she should have had more points. (See the CBC article and scroll down to the comments.) The quarterfinals for the women’s 49k start at 3:00 a.m. EST. So far rumour has it that the appeal has been dismissed. As of writing, the final results still lists Sweden’s Zajc as advancing to the quarterfinals and not Canada’s Gonda.

The Olympics are supposed to be using the competition rules as set by the WTF. According to these Rules of Competition, three or more judges must agree to score a point. More specifically (Article 13: Scoring and Publication),

In the use of electronic trunk protectors
A. Valid points scored on the mid-section of the trunk shall be recorded automatically by the transmitter in the electronic trunk protector.
B. Valid points scored to the face shall be marked by each judge by using the electronic scoring instrument or judge’s scoring sheet.
In the case of scoring with an electronic scoring instrument or on a judge’s scoring sheet, valid points shall be those recognized by at least three or more judges.

I’m not sure if electronic trunk protectors were used, but it looked as if the judges were using the hand-held scoring devices. The other issue with scoring points is that the judges may not see the kicks if you aren’t positioned in a clear field of view. I noticed in this match, the Swedish competitor was blocking the view of one of the judges – whether or not this was intentional is unclear.

This is not the first protest against unfair judging. Earlier, a Swedish wrestler who won the bronze match gave up his medal and walked away from the podium and medal ceremony. He lost the match that would have advanced him to the gold medal match. (His opponent went on to win the gold.) The Swedish wrestler was angry after the match due to unfair judging and only went on with the bronze medal match after discussing it with friends and family.



Canada loses chance for taekwondo medal in women’s 49k

Disappointingly, Ivett Gonda lost her preliminary match to Sweden’s Hanna Zajc. The score was 2-0. Perhaps it just was a bad day.

China’s Wu Jingyu pulled off an amazing win in her preliminary by outscoring her opponent 7-0. The Olympics have adopted the “mercy rule”, which means that a competitor wins the match if she is winning by 7 points. Wu Jingyu won that match with a nice spinning hook kick to make it 7-0. Based on her match so far, I’m predicting China to win the gold.

Thailand’s Buttree Puedpong defeated Cuba’s Daynellis Montejo in sudden death overtime with a nicely timed defensive roundhouse to Montejo’s axe kick.

For a look at who’s fighting who in the women’s 49k quarterfinals, see official results courtesy of the Beijing Olympics site.

The women’s 49k quarterfinals will start at 3:00 a.m. EST. Tune into and click on “watch live” next to taekwondo on the schedule.

The men’s 58kg preliminaries are on now. Canada does not have a competitor in this category. Canada’s next taekwondo match is Karine Sergerie’s at 9:30 p.m. Thursday. Sebastien Michaud’s match is on Friday at 12:15 a.m.

Good luck to Karine and Sebastien!



Canada’s Female Wrestler Brings Home the First Gold

Carol Huynh has won Canada’s first Olympic gold medal in women’s freestyle wrestling. Competing in the 48 kg weight division, Huynh easily defeated her Japanese opponent by getting four points in the first period and two in the second. Additionally, teammate Tonya Verbeek won her bronze medal match in the 55 kg weight class for freestyle wrestling getting Canada’s first bronze in this year’s Olympics.

Canada’s men’s rowing pair also achieved a silver medal giving Canada one gold, silver, and a bronze for Day 8 of the 2008 Olympics. Canada is now tied for 29th place in the Olympics. (See Olympic medal count.)

I’m still holding out for some good taekwondo matches in three more days. CBC promises to air all of Canada’s taekwondo matches. Sports Illustrated has predicted medals for all three of Canada’s competitors in taekwondo. Don’t forget to tune into CBC Tuesday night at 9!



Taekwondo in the Olympics

Canada has yet to win any medals in the Olympics this year. Perhaps Canada’s best chance for a gold is in taekwondo. Okay, maybe I’m a little biased (I’ve only been training in taekwondo for almost nine years), but let’s look at Canada’s women’s lightweight contender – Karine Sergerie. Sergerie is the current World Taekwondo Champion in her weight division (she weighs in at 63 kg). Prior to her gold win in the 2007 World’s, she placed second in 2003 and third in the 2005 World’s. On top of that she won the gold medals in the 2007 and 2006 Pan-Am Games. In 2006, she won the Commonwealth Taekwondo Championships. She has won the gold in the Canadian Senior National Championships since 2002 – that’s a seven-time consecutive champion in Canadian Nationals. That’s an amazing record so far, almost enough to win the olympic gold medal on its own. Sergerie apparently isn’t the type to let her record stand on its own, but rather the type that will keep battling it out. Here’s a video clip of her winning the 2007 World’s.

Karine Sergerie winning the World Taekwondo Championships 2007

In this match she was down 3-0, she pushes on in the match to tie and move it into sudden death overtime. (In taekwondo rules, you could also lose a point if you get two warnings from the referee and lose the match in sudden death that way too.) She manages to get her kick in faster and stronger than her opponent and win the gold.

Canada has two other athletes in the olympics for taekwondo, Sebastien Michaud and Ivett Gonda, also good competitors in taekwondo.

For more about Karine Sergerie, read CBC’s “World champion finally gets her shot”. (For those who don’t know, Dominique Bosshart received a bronze for Canada in the 2000 olympics.)

See also, CBC’s video profile of Karine Sergerie.

Please also see these articles on taekwondo at the olympics.

Taekwondo sparring terms (Korean sparring terms that you will hear used by the referee.)

Taekwondo history (What this article fails to mention is that there are two styles of taekwondo, ITF and WTF. WTF (for World Taekwondo Federation) is featured at the olympics while ITF (for International Taekwondo Federation) is not. The historical difference between the two relates to the split of Korea into North and South Korea. Maybe one day, ITF and WTF will merge recalling their initial beginnings as one martial art.)

Head Shots (What judges look for in a good taekwondo sparring match. Unlike something like boxing or wrestling, there is a certain grace and dexterity in taekwondo sparring as it requires precision more so than brute force to make a good sparrer. Anyone else note the wide weight classes? That means someone at the light end of the class might have to spar someone 20 lbs heavier. There are only four weight classes in taekwondo for the Olympics – see the link to “weight divisions” above.)

I don’t know about the rest of Canada, but I’m looking forward to some exciting Olympic taekwondo matches. If Sergerie brings home the gold in taekwondo, perhaps Canada will finally pay some attention to this great martial art and sport, which blends grace and finesse with a true fighting spirit.


20+ km walk

Filed under: Cass' training blog - martial arts, weights, running — feyMorgaina @ 10:48

Nate and I decided to do a (minimum) 20 km walk this year. Last year I did a walk/run down Yonge Street from Finch to Bloor, which was 12.6 km. This year’s walk (this past Saturday) was nearly double last year’s. We started our walk at Church St. and Weston Rd., then followed the discovery walk paths along the Humber River down to the lakeshore. This brought us to the mouth of the Humber River, where it joins with Lake Ontario. From there we crossed the Humber River bridge (see picture below), and walked east along the lakeshore to Union Station.

Humber River Bridge

View of Lake Ontario from the Humber River Bridge

The walk took just about five and a half hours. Halfway into the walk, it started to thunderstorm. I think it rained for almost two hours. Luckily, I was wearing a waterproof track jacket. Unfortunately, I had changed from my track pants to my shorts earlier because it was warming up. We weren’t expecting a thunderstorm that day, but well… I’m going to blame it on Nathan and that’s that. My legs were actually starting to get cold from the rain. By the time we were walking past Ontario Place, my good knee was starting to get cold and stiff. We walked on and the rain starting to ease up. Eventually, I found some shelter that turned out to be a washroom where I could freshen up and change back into my track pants. It wasn’t much after that that we reached lakeshore and Bathurst. From there, we could just walk along the Queen’s Quay to the Harbourfront and then to Union Station. I’m amused that the thunderstorm happened just as we were walking along the long stretch of lakeshore were it was more desolate. By the time we got to Bathurst, it was sunny and warm again. Go figure!

All in all though, I was happy with the walk. My feet were a tad sore, but in actuality no more sore than when I used to do three hours of taekwondo training. I felt that good about the walk, I still went for a run the next day!



Rambling thoughts

So you must have been thinking “Where did Cassandrah go?” since I haven’t been blogging as much as usual. I think there just wasn’t much I wanted to publish and share on here (mostly because there were a ton of things better not said). I’ve now moved on and started working on my own projects again, which gives me the freedom to write, write, write to my heart’s content about the various things I’m working on. 😀

Life has been better for me lately. I was in a little slump for a bit there, adjusting, re-prioritizing, re-organizing, and re-vamping my life. As Nate has commented, I’m always happier when I’m training. I’ve been back at the do jang again, and it does feel good. It feels good to know that I can go and I don’t have to think about much else afterwards but for a nice meal of protein and carbs and a hot bath to soothe my aching muscles.

Ah, but I do have my own little projects. Thankfully, I can go at my own pace. I still have my many interests and the focus for my website hasn’t changed much. I will still be working with reiki and will be offering reiki courses again in the new year (date to be posted later). I still believe there is a connection between the Japanese healing art and martial arts and I’d like to explore that further.

During this past year, I started studying astrology again in more depth. I think I’ve got a firm understanding of interpreting the basic (natal) horoscope, that is, at least how to study the basic (natal) horoscope. I’m currently keeping track of transits and observing how it affects me and in general everyone else. The most recent transit occurred today at 3:25 a.m. when Mars turned retrograde (that is, it appears to travel backwards in the sky due to Earth travelling faster and overtaking Mars relative to our observation of the background stars). What effect does Mars turning retrograde have? So far, I’ve observed a drop in attendance at the do jang this past week, perhaps a build-up to the actual retrograde? Yesterday was peculiar. As I arrived at the do jang and started walking down the stairs, I didn’t hear the usual sounds of kicking and chatter as people train. I realized I had arrived just in time for my class and the previous class had already finished. It turns out most people had already left – the few who actually came to train. Asking a few people, I was told the previous class was quiet too and some people were running late. (I was a tad late for class and so was another girl.) Huh? Interesting. Mars is currently in Cancer. Now that it’s turned retrograde, will this make people prone to just staying at home reflecting on their own thoughts? The strange thing is that I feel like training! I feel just as active as if Mars was in Aries, but then again I have a Mars in Aries in my natal horoscope. Perhaps people overall will feel less aggressive, which might be a good thing. Perhaps let the people with Mars in Aries in their horoscopes be the aggressive ones, huh? It would save everyone some grief. You really can’t be more aggressive than someone with a Mars in Aries, you really can’t. A Sun in Aries comes close, but not quite, unless you have the Sun and Mars in Aries like I know a certain someone has. 😉 Quite interesting. The Mars retrograde will end on January 30, 2008.

Speaking of training, here’s a short update:

October 12, 2007 – I went for a mile run.
October 15, 2007 – I went for a run, 1.5 miles. Later, I went to the do jang, then went to the gym for my usual workout. I even added five minutes on the bicycle to loosen up my knee and get the fluid in the joint moving.
October 17, 2007 – I went to the do jang and then the gym after.
October 19, 2007 – I went for a run. I think I broke it up into two parts – one mile, then a 3/4 mile run back.
November 2, 2007 – After a few weeks off training, I went for a 1.5 mile run and then to the gym.
November 7, 2007 – I went running again (1 mile), and then headed to the gym.
November 9, 2007 – A short run, and then the gym again.
November 12, 2007 – I went to the do jang after missing it for a few weeks. (I was still in a bit of a slump and with the Mercury retrograde in the last few weeks of October, I ended up taking a retrospective look at my music collection and doing a cleanup. Yay! for Mercury being direct as of November 1 because now I can write again.) I went to the gym after the do jang.
November 13, 2007 – I went for a mile run. My time was 8 minutes 53 seconds – a tad slow, but getting closer to my fastest time which was achieved in the warmer months. You technically run a little slower in the colder months because of the weight of the extra clothes you are wearing. The more clothes you have on, the more drag pulling you back when you are running.
November 14, 2007 – I went to the do jang and then to the gym.

I have been reading again lately. While I was mulling over my thoughts on what to do, I picked up some manga and a graphic novel series called Fables. (I started to get into the graphic novels after I read Emily the Strange.) Fables is amusing. The artwork is quite good in my opinion, and the stories are quite interesting – a reimagining of our traditional fairy tales. The author has found a way to weave many of the traditional fairy tales and create a fantasy world. The base story is that all the “fables” (fairy tale creatures) have been forced to leave their “homelands” due to an evil emperor known by them only as the “Adversary”. The first collection of the comics into novel format is called “Legends in Exile” where we find out that the fables have been living in New York City in a hidden community called “Fabletown”. Non-human fables live on a farm in upstate New York. I’m currently reading book six, and my favourite fables are Bigby Wolf and Snow White! Curious yet? Go get the novels.

Okay, I think that’s enough of my rambling thoughts this cool November day. There’s enough there for you to mull over I think. Trust me, you’ll like Fables.

Perhaps I’ll be back later with a book review or two.

Brigid’s Flame

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