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National titles for two Quest Taekwondo Huddersfield youngsters

Celebrations for Caden Cunningham and Aaliyah Powell

Huddersfield club Quest Taekwondo members Aaliyah Powell (left) and Caden Cunningham

Huddersfield’s Caden Cunningham has become the British Cadet taekwondo champion following the national finals in Manchester.

The Quest Taekwondo club member and King James High School student is the male -49kg Cadet champion and has been selected to represent Great Britain at the European Championships in Hungary next month.

Cunningham had four matches all scheduled for three rounds but none went the distance as he out performed his opponents with each match stopped by the referees when he had achieved a 20 point lead.

Another outstanding performance by a Quest Taekwondo club member was from Great Britain’s most successful junior athlete of 2017 Aaliyah Powell.

The Shelley College student also continued her domination with a convincing victory over the Scottish number one Jordyn Smith to win the final in the Junior -44kg Female Advanced division.

Powell travels to Cyprus in November to represent Great Britain at the Junior European Championships.

Quest Taekwondo's Aaliyah Powell (left) and Caden Cunningham (right) with coach Mike McKenzie

Both Powell and Cunningham are now double British Champions and Quest coach Mike McKenzie said: “I am extremely proud of all the Quest athletes.

“We have 11 new British champions and many more medallists. Every medal was well deserved and I expected both `Caden and Aaliyah to win their respective categories and for me it wasn’t a case of if they won but how they won.”

Cunningham and five of his clubmates are currently part of the GB Talent Pathway and are trying out for the GB Junior squad.

The GB Junior Talent programme has been incredibly tough and unfortunately Charlotte Simpson was unable to join her teammates in defending her title after sustaining an injury to her ribs training at the GB Academy.

It was incredibly frustrating for Simpson not being able to compete but she was delighted with the results of her Quest teammates.

Wade James made his debut in the cadet ranks and did incredibly well to get to the quarter-finals as a younger athlete, and is definitely a name to watch out for in the future.

Ultimately all these athletes aspire to make the GB Olympic Taekwondo team as the sport has been just been approved as a core sport for Paris 2024.

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