Max makes Taekwondo club history with merited promotion
Teen, now a black belt 2nd Dan, shows off his talent with club-mates in medal-winning performances
TEENAGER Max Whitley re-wrote Chesham Taekwondo Club’s record books recently.
The 14-year-old was promoted to black belt 2nd Dan after gaining the only merit pass award from the British United Taekwondo Federation, making him the youngest person to achieve such a level in the club’s history.
Coached by his father Keith, he is also the youngest to attain the standard in his dad’s 32 years as an instructor, so clearly he is a chip off the old block.
Whitley’s recent achievements do not end with this record-breaking effort though. His recent appearance at the PUMA English Open, one of the most prestigious events on the circuit, saw him take gold in the junior patterns event and bronze in sparring – this success coming in the wake of another gold in the Junior Black Belt Patterns at the BUTF Cup tournament in Hatfield, where clubmate Lewis Swallow was a close second.
Whitley also got the better of fellow 14-year-old Swallow in the sparring competition at the above tournament.
The Hatfield event proved fruitful for two more club members, siblings 16-year-old George Hanchant and his sister Jasmin, a year his junior. George took gold in his pattern class and bronze in the sparring, the latter after a somewhat bloody semi-final, while Jasmin won the adult ladies pattern event and took silver in sparring.
George carried this form into the aforementioned English Open where he again took gold in the patterns and silver in sparring, Jasmin settling for bronze in the latter after unluckily losing to the eventual winner in the first round of the patterns.
The Hanchants and Swallow went to Guildford to the UKTA London Open the following weekend, a competition Whitley was forced to sit out through injury.
Jasmin performed her pattern through several rounds to the final but lost on a split decision so settled for silver, while George earned a bronze.
It was a change around with the sparring results as Jasmin took bronze while George took silver in the 15-17s, Swallow adding a bronze in the 14-15 age group.
Deserved medals: From left, Lewis Swallow, Max Whitley, Jasmin Hanchant and George Hanchant.