By Meagan Wang
Tiffany Liao ’12 placed second in the National Qualifier for the United States Taekwondo team on March 12. This competition determines who will continue onto the National Team Trials in May, which is the final step to make the U.S. Taekwondo Team. Liao will advance to the Trials, which will decide whether or not she makes the U.S. Taekwondo team.
Liao entered the National Qualifier as a duo team with Ryan Lien, a freshman at Pasadena City College, as her partner. Although they both trained individually, they also practiced together almost every day since November.
Liao spent many hours working on her technique, flexibility and stamina.
“I had to do a lot of quad strengthening exercises, but it all paid off,” she said.
Liao and Lien entered the qualifiers in the black belt and above division in the “poomsae” category. This category focuses on form and technique.
“We didn’t know what forms we were going to be doing until the week of, so that was kind of stressful … of course the forms that we were assigned were our weakest,” Liao said.
The judges of poomsae look for presentation, fluidity between different moves and synchronization between the pairs. The five judges gave Liao and Lien a score of 4.6 out of 10 possible points.
“A score of 6.1 is considered amazing…most of the other teams scored below 2 points,” Liao said. The team that placed first scored 5.3 and the third place team scored 2.3.
“I was surprised that we got second, because we were cramming in a lot of training[…]I’m really excited for the trials in New York,” Liao said.