[By NBC-1TV K, Y Yi]WUXI, China (Dec. 30, 2017) – Great Britain’s Bianca “Queen Bee” Walkden and Russia’s Maksim Khramtcov captured gold medals – and a cool USD70,000 each – in the inaugural edition of the World Taekwondo Grand Slam Champions Series, held at the Wuxi Taihu International Expo Center in the city of Wuxi, near Shanghai.
Silvers (and USD20,000 each) were won by Team USA’s Jackie Galloway and Team Korea’s Hwan Namgoong, while bronzes (and USD5,000 each) went to Turkey’s Nafia “The Amazon” Kusand Azerbaijan’s Milad Beigi in, respectively, the women’s +67kg and the men’s -80kg categories.
There were some shock exits in the preliminaries: Rio 2016 Olympic champions Shuyin “The Beautiful Giraffe” Zheng of China and Cheick “The Man with No Fear” Cisse of Cote d’Ivoire both lost their first bouts. However, Walkden capped her extraordinary 2017 season - four consecutive Grand Prix victories, in addition to the successful defense of her World Championship title – with a scorching win over Galloway. And a new star was born: Team Korea’s virtual unknown Hwan Namgoong, the smallest fighter in his division, stormed through the competition, only losing in a spectacular final against Khramtcov.
The Grand Slam – an event designed as a TV showcase for taekwondo – was covered by 39 online platforms. Fought on a custom-designed “stage for superstars,” it featured Las Vegas-style presentation: thunderous audio, dancers jiving between matches, and ring girls announcing the rounds. And the male division featured a historic first for taekwondo: The final and bronze medal matches were both fought over five two-minute rounds, rather than the usual three rounds.
The final of the women’s category pitted Galloway against Walkden. Galloway displayed some sweet footwork, but from the opening buzzer, Walkden was on fire: She scored two, then four then eight points with her sniper-like side kick. A penalty cost the American another point early in the second as Walkden dominated the center of the ring, forcing Galloway to try and cut into her perimeter. The round ended 9-1 to the Brit. As the action continued, Galloway tried high kicks, just could not get past Walkden’s stabbing side kick. Walkdens’ distancing and timing were impeccable: Galloway never really looked to be a threat and the Brit won decisively, 10-2.
Then the party started. As the audio system blared the Liverpool lass’s hometown song – The Beatles’ “Hey Jude” – her long-time beau, Aaron Cook, stormed onto the mats and hefted Walkden aloft. In a victory celebration like no other, the “Queen Bee” hurled her shin protectors into the crowd and ended the affair with a series of somersaults on the mats. In the post-match interview, she made clear what she would do with her prize money: “Now, we’ve got a house!” she yelled.
In the female bronze medal match, Poland’s Aleksandra Kowalczuk took on Kus of Turkey. The two appeared evenly matched, but it was Kuswho opened the scoring with a body kick, while the Polish girl threatened with high kicks. Round 1 ended 2-0 to the Turk. Kowalczuk evened the score early in the second, before “The Amazon” drew ahead, taking the round, 6-2. The third found featured the most action, but it ended with Kus winning a convincing 11-3 victory.
In the final of the men’s category, Korea’s 19-year-old Namgoong took on Russia’s Khramtcov. It looked like a David and Goliath mismatch: The Russian towered over Namgoong by at least a head. He went up with a high kick - 3-0 - then sent the Korean flying with a body kick, before landing another head kick from the clinch. Khramtcov lost one penalty point, then ate a couple of Namgoong’s body kicks; the first ended 11-4 to the Russian. In the second, the Korean went after his man, fighting a very physical match against his bigger opponent, mixing combination attacks to the body with kicks to the head. But the Russian’s high roundhouse and crescent kicks kept landing, while his side kick kept Namgoong off balance. The second ended 23-9 to Khramtcov. In the third, Namgoong continued to take the fight to his opponent, trying to break into close range where he had the advantage, and wielding a textbook back kick. But the Russian kept landing to the head and the third closed 32-19 to Khramtcov. Great action!
In the penultimate round, both lads looked tired and the pace slowed, but the Korean deployed some effective body kicks under and around the Russian’s high-line attacks. The fourth ended 34-22, Khramtcov. In the final round, the Korean landed a head kick from the clinch – a real feat against a fighter as tall as the Russian - then repeated the technique, raising his score to 28,then 29 as the Russian was penalized. In the last 30 seconds, the work rate increased before, in the final seconds, Namgoong – bleeding from a facial injury and panting heavily– finally gassed out. It was a superb win for the Russian - 35-29 - but also a tremendous underdog performance from Namgoong who is definitely a face to watch.
In the male bronze match, Russia’s Anton Kotkov went into battle against Beigi of Azerbaijan. The two are of roughly equal height; Kotkov is one of the most accurate kickers in the game, while Beigi is a stylish player with superb flexibility. Mindful of the match duration, the two took it easy in the first, but Beigi found the range and ended the first round 4-0 up. In the second, both dueled with head kicks, but neither connected; the round also ended 4-0. The Russian ended his point drought in the third with a body kick, and the round concluded in a heated exchange, as the Azeri rattled Kotkov’s teeth with a side kick to the face. The round ended 10-5 to Beigi. The fourth saw a higher work rate, with Beigi extending his lead to 14-6. In the final round, Beigi pulled off an impossible technique - a high kick that flicked down to the torso - and continued to jam Kotkov’s attacks, while his fast legs continued to do their work. The match ended 17-7: A relaxed and highly professional performance by Beigi.
[NBC-1TV 박승훈 기자]이종철 미국 뉴저지 팰리세이즈팍 부시장이 타운의회에서 시의장으로 재선출돼 팰팍 타운에서 부시장과 시의장을 겸직하게 됐다. 팰팍 타운의회는 6일 이 부시장의 시의장 임명안을 표결에 부쳐 만장일치로 선임했다. 이 부시장은 지난 2012년에도 시의장직을 수행한 바 있다. 팰팍 시의장은 1년 임기로 타운의회를 이끄는 최고 의사 결정권자로 시장이 공석 등으로 업무를 수행하지 못할 경우 시장 권한대행을 할 수 있다. 한편 이 부시장은 일본군 위안부 기념비를 팰팍시에 세계 최초로 설치했으며, 공립학교에 한글을 제2외국어로 지정하고 한식을 공립학교에 점심 급식으로 제공하는 추진력을 발휘했으며, 팰팍 중심도로에 Korea Way 설치에도 발벗고 나섰다.
[By NBC-1TV K, Y Yi]WUXI, China (Jan 6, 2018) – A highly entertaining second Saturday of the super-elite World Taekwondo (WT) Grand Slam 2017/18 series, which pits the best twelve athletes in each Olympic weight category against each other, took place today, with athletes competing in the Female -67kg and male -68kg categories. In the unpredictable female competition, third seed Ruth Gbagbi of Cote d’Ivoire came out on top after impressively defeating dark horse YunfeiGuo of Team China in the final by 10:6. The Rio 2016 bronze medallist has been in excellent form recently and her fearsome, al
[By NBC-1TV K, Y Yi]WUXI, China (28 Dec. 2017) – Two days before the inaugural edition of the Wuxi 2017 World Taekwondo Grand Slam Champions Series kicks off on Saturday, the WT’s finest athletes and senior officials got their first look at the bespoke venue at a press conference held in the Wuxi Taihu International Expo Center in Wuxi, China. The Grand Slam Series – to be held over five consecutive Saturdays in this city in eastern China–will be fought under amended rules designed to upgrade the sport’s spectacle, and offers the biggest prize money in taekwondo history: USD70,000 for first p
[NBC-1TV 이경찬 기자]문재인 대통령은 2일 오전 국립서울현충원 참배로 새해 첫 공식일정을 시작했다. 문 대통령은 이날 오전 8시 이낙연 국무총리와 김동연 경제부총리, 김상곤 사회부총리, 김부겸 행정안전부 장관을 비롯한 각 국무위원, 임종석 대통령 비서실장 등 20여 명과 함께 현충원을 찾아 현충탑에 헌화하고, 순국선열과 호국영령의 넋을 기렸다. 현충탑에 도착한 문 대통령은 '대통령 문재인'이라고 적힌 화환을 순국선열과 호국영령에게 헌화한 후 분향·묵념했다. 한편 이 총리와 각 국무위원은 미리 현충원에 도착해 문 대통령을 영접했다.
[NBC-1TV 이광윤 보도국장]문재인 대통령이 3박 4일의 중국 국빈방문 일정을 마치고 16일 늦은 밤 서울공항을 통해 귀국했다. 문 대통령의 이번 방문에서는 국빈의전에 심각한 민낯을 보인 중국측의 외교상 결례가 발생하여 양국이 앞으로 풀어야 할 과제가 남게 되었다. 문 대통령은 15일 충칭에 있는 대한민국 임시정부 청사를 방문하고 김구 선생의 흉상에 헌화한 후 독립 유공자 후손들을 만났다. 이어 현대지동차 충칭공장을 방문해 현장 근로자들을 격려하고 협력사 대표들을 만나 양국 경제협력의 가교가 되어달라고 당부했다.