Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

City taekwondo standout Kitschke prepares for real test

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MICHAEL KITSCHKE won the heavyweight title at the World Cup team trials in taekwondo on March 7 in Laval, Que., a major step towards his goal of representing Canada at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Kitschke, a 22-year-old student at K.S. Cho Taekwondo College in Winnipeg, won all three of his matches. A fourth was called off due to mutual withdrawal as he had already won the title with his 3-0 record and both he and his opponent were injured.

With his heavyweight (plus-82 kilograms) title, Kitschke qualified for the 2009 World Cup, June 10-14 in Baku, Azerbaijan.

"I will be able to represent Canada at this competition," said Kitschke, a 6-foot-3, 212-pound athlete. "I'm really excited about it, it's going to really test me and show me if I'm really prepared for world championships and the international calibre."

Kitschke said the top 16 countries from around the world are competing in this event. He recently won his weight division at the U.S. Open in Las Vegas, where he scored victories in all six matches including a win over a former world champion. His next major goal is the World Taekwondo Championships in the Netherlands next October.

Kitschke is a full-time student who receives no federal funding. He holds down a part-time job

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 13, 2009 C6

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