Unlucky 13 brick blunder for Harrogate taekwondo instructor at World Hanmadang

Kambiz Ali smashes through his eight bricks in the final of the World Hangmadang
Kambiz Ali smashes through his eight bricks in the final of the World Hangmadang

Scientist Kambiz Ali had a brick blunder as he endured a disappointing week of competition at the 2015 World Hanmadang Taekwondo competition in South Korea.

Ali missed out on a medal place in the two competitions he entered in the city of Peungtaek, finishing sixth in the fist-breaking competition and 12th in the poomsae event.

In the fist-break final, Ali compiled a stack of one too many slabs, leaving him with a task too great to get on the medal rostrum.

Fellow Harrogate instructor Martin Squires also qualified for the final after travelling to the Far East with Ali. He finished seventh as he carved his way through six blocks.

The week in Korea had started on a happy note for Master Ali as he carried the British flag at the competition’s opening ceremony.

The honour was given to him as he had won two bronze medals on his last visit to the world championships in 2014.

However, this time around it was a case of unlucky 13 as he lined up the wrong number of bricks for himself to smash in the fist-breaking arena.

Ali had requested to take a punt at smashing 12 bricks but as he approached his stack, he realised he had placed an extra slab in the time limit allowed.

The referee ruled that Ali was not allowed to remove the errant brick, leaving him to attempt the world record of 13.

The Harrogate tutor could only smash his way through a below-par number of eight bricks as he finished in sixth place.

The gold medallist broke 11 slabs.

Ali said: “I asked for 12 bricks in the final to give me the best chance to get a score of nine, but they put 13 in for me. I didn’t count them.

“I stood there and asked the referee why there was 13 but he said that I could have left the block on the side. It was just a mistake that happens.

“Thirteen bricks is the world record, and I wasn’t ready for that. It just broke all of my confidence and focus.”

Squires qualified for the fist breaking final with a respectable total of seven tiles and broke six tiles in the final to finish one place beneath his Harrogate counterpart.

Master Ali continued his competition efforts in the pattern or Poomsae event.

But in the qualifying round, he got his footing wrong on a sidekick causing him to lose his balance slightly, and meant he missed out in a place in the final.

Ali added: “I am a little bit disappointed not to medal but I did what I could.

“I am happy with my performance to come sixth and 12th.

“This year, the competition was that little bit heavier. The people who were in the competition with “me, they had all got much better.

“But for some of them, taekwondo is a job. I am a scientist, Some of them are professionals, and in England, you don’t get that.

“I have to work harder now for the British national championships in 2016 and after that, I am going to the World Championships again.”