Jewelian Blackbird of Walpole Island won a bronze medal at the 2013 Pan American Championships held in Queretaro, Mexico in September.
The 14-year-old, who trains at Cobras Taekwondo in Chatham, lost 13-0 to the Peruvian national champion in the semi-finals in the cadet +59 kg (heavy weight division), giving her bronze.
“Jewelian did not lose to the Peruvian athlete, she got caught with two-high section in the early stages of Round 1 and couldn’t shake it off,” said Blackbird’s coach at Cobras in Chatham, Ryan Formosa.
Blackbird defeated a Costa Rican national champion 5-4 in sudden death overtime in the quarterfinals and was competing for Team Canada for the first time.
“Jewelian is a talented athlete with a big future ahead of her,” said Formosa of his star athlete. “She was a great athlete before the championships; what I saw during our time in Mexico, she became a completely different athlete. Just when I thought she was at her peak level, she peaked again. She just keeps getting better and better.”
Although Formosa was hoping for gold from his young athlete, he considers her accomplishments in Mexico a success.
“Overall, Jewelian has gained so much from this competition, her training with Team Canada, the days before the competition in Mexico, and the competition itself was such a good experience for her.”
“I don’t see this loss as a shortcoming at all,” says Formosa. “This was a good building tool for her goals in her junior career and upcoming senior career when the time is right.”