Huddersfield’s Aaliyah Powell is set to compete on home soil this weekend following her first international call-up at the World Cadet Taekwondo Championships in South Korea.
The Quest Taekwondo team member made her debut as a member of Great Britain’s squad and defeated her Malaysian opponent in her opening match before going out to an Egyptian rival in a close contest.
It was a strong showing in her first international event which was something of a baptism of fire in the toughest Taekwondo competition in the world.
Aaliyah (right), whose parents would like to thank everyone who sponsored her to allow her to attend the championships, said: “I was disappointed to not get further at the Worlds, but it was an amazing experience and I learned a lot”.
The Quest Taekwondo team now travel to Manchester for the British Championships, and Powell is favourite to win the -37kg cadet division and reclaim her British title.
Her coach Mike McKenzie said: “She was unfortunate not to progress further in the worlds, she has proved she is good enough at that level and with a bit more experience I believe she could have gone on to get a medal – if not win.
“We will review her training programme after the national championships.”
Aaliyah will join a 30-strong squad of athletes competing in Manchester for Quest, including Caden Cunningham, who will be defending his British title, and Wade James, who both train at the Marsh-based Sasan Quest Academy.
Caden, who has recently been selected for the Great Britain Development Squad, has had some good results this year competing in the -45kg male division and is looking to make the national team.
Wade, who is one of the youngest athletes, has demonstrated great promise which has prompted his call-up at just 10 years of age.
Charlotte Simpson, who is also in the Great Britain Development Squad, is at the moment recovering from a serious injury suffered in April.
Charlotte started back in full training last week and will be there to give support to her teammates at the nationals in Manchester.
The Quest team are coached by McKenzie and Siamak Zafari, and anyone wanting to take up taekwondo and would like to join the club should contact McKenzie on 07938 949923 or Siamak Zafari 07907 447430, or email firstname.lastname@example.org