13-year old Taekwondo phenom Mia Chang is trying to go from breaking boards to breaking through at the Cadet World Championships.
“To be part of it is really cool because you are the US and you are representing your country to fight everybody in the world,” said Chang.
The Damien Memorial School student has been training at the Oahu Taekwondo Center with coach Brian McCutcheon since the age of five. McCutcheon says he knew early on she had a gift for the sport. “The only obstacle she had to overcome is confidence in the match, nerves would get the best of her. But once she overcame that there was no stopping her. She has been the best player in her division for several years now,” said McCutcheon.
Chang placed first at the national team trials for a second year in a row in the light middle division kicking her way into Cadet Worlds, which gets underway this weekend in Muju, Korea. “To come from here where we train in this little gymn and you put all of your hard work and practices and go up there and win means a lot.”
Chang hopes to become the first Hawaii-born athlete, male or female to medal at the World Championships in her sport. “I think she is as competitive as anyone in the country, anyone in the world. She has a very good chance of winning. It would be great to have a world champion from Hawaii,” said McCutcheon.
And no matter what happens in Korea. Chang knows that she already a winner, she will be the first female from Hawaii to ever compete at Worlds. “It’s pretty big that I am going there, so then it will be great if I win, but it’s not going to be terrible or the end of the world, if I lose.
Competition begins this Saturday (Hawaii Time).