independent

Monday 20 May 2019

Connie fights her way to the top of the world

MARIA HERLIHY

KNOCKNAGREE Taekwondo champion Conni Vaughan has every reason to feel on top of the world having bagged a world title win in England.

KNOCKNAGREE Taekwondo champion Conni Vaughan has every reason to feel on top of the world having bagged a world title win in England.

Conni told The Corkman she was so stunned when her name was called out at the Taekwondo Open World Championships in Hertfordshire, England, that she and her coach, Don Dalton, both jumped into the air.

"Taekwondo is a very disciplined sport and in defeat or when a person wins, you are expected to bow and act graciously at all times. But for me, I seemed to have forgotten all of that as, along with Master Don Dalton, we jumped about three feet into the air. I was simply overwhelmed, shocked and stunned," she said with a big grin.

Conni said she was a late starter in the world of Taekwondo, having been introduced to the sport when she was an 18 years-old student at UCC. She initially began kick-boxing, but once she took up the Korean martial art she found a sport she loved.

From there she attended the Millstreet Taekwondo Club along with the Ballyvourney Taekwondo club and, as he interest grew, Conni found herself training six days a week.

"I fell hook, line and sinker into the sport and I really enjoy it. There is great camaraderie and it is equally a great challenge. It's a brilliant sport to encourage a person to set their own goals and then achieve them," she said.

At the World Championships, Conni first fought a British girl, then a Japanese girl and in the final she faced Dutch girl Melanie Evers, who had beaten her in 2010 in Korea.

In addition to winning a gold medal, Conni also won a sliver medal as part of the Irish women senior sparring team. She said they narrowly missed out on a gold medal as they were beaten by England in the final.

Conni, is the daughter of Joan Vaughan, who is originally from Ballydesmond. She has one brother, Glen.

Conni, who works an English and PE teacher at Rathmore Community School, said she has some "niggly injuries" since the World title win this month, but they are nothing that she won't overcome.

She said she will rest up for the next few weeks and she then aims to be back training with an eye on the next competition that comes her way.

Corkman

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