Wednesday 10 March 2010

Profile of a World Champion - Luke Thompson

Luke Thompson receives his 3rd World Championship gold medal for power.

This is part of a series of articles profiling our Kiwi world champions who achieved so much success for New Zealand at the 2009 World Champs in Argentina

TKDAction: What year did you start TKD training and what was the name of the club and your instructor?

Luke: I started training in 1994 in Waiuku under Mr Browine Kingi. The club was not an ITFNZ branch at the time.

TKDAction: When did you get your black belt and what was your club and instructor?

Luke: I received my black belt in still under Mr Browine Kingi, under ITFNZ. The club joined ITFNZ in 1995.

TKDAction: Which international events have you attended and what were your achievements at each?

Luke: 2001 12th World Championships – Rimini, Italy
- No placing, but was an eye opener on what to expect and how to train and set high standards for next time

2005 14th World Championships – Dortmund, Germany
- Silver in Individual Powerbreaking
- Bronze in Team Powerbreaking

Luke at the 2005 World Champs. Image: ITFNZ website

2007 – 15th World Championships – Quebec, Canada
- Gold in Pre-arranged Sparring
- Gold in Individual Powerbreaking
- Bronze in Team Patterns
- Bronze in Team Powerbreaking

Luke at the 2007 World Champs in Quebec

Slide show of Luke's buildup and performance in the 2007 World Championships (57)...

2008 – 3rd World Cup – Riva Del Garda, Italy
- Gold in Pre-arranged Sparring

Luke and Mark Trotter training for the 2008 World Cup in Reva Del Garda, Italy.

Slide show of Luke's buildup and performance in the 2008 World Cup (58)...

2009 – 16th World Championships – Mar Del Plata, Argentina
- Gold in Individual Powerbreaking
- Silver in Pre-arranged Sparring
- Silver in Team Power Breaking

Luke at the 2009 World Champs.

Slide show of Luke's buildup and performance in the 2009 World Championships (92)...

TKDAction: What were your goals for the 2009 World Champs?

Luke: My goals were to compete well and have no regrets. Winning Individual and coming 2nd in Pre Arranged and Team Power were just added bonuses.

TKDAction: Can you describe how you felt when you stood on the podium and had received your gold medal?

Luke: The first time it’s a surreal feeling you have so many emotions running through you, friends and family, the road you have taken to get you here. Then there’s a real sense of pride of your accomplishment.

TKDAction: What were some of the challenges you had to overcome to compete at the world champs?

Luke: The biggest challenge was finding a balance between home life, work and training. Having to train so much to improve and be ready but not so I have no time for my family or neglecting my duties at work or running Academy. My friends and social life just had to take a back seat.

TKDAction: What would your message be to a young junior who you thought was good enough to trial. What would you say to them to encourage them?

Luke: Remember who got you started. Thank those that help and support you. Train hard but don’t obsess over it. Take your knocks with pride as they help foster the competitor you will be come. It’s not an easy road but why would you do it if it was going to be. Be humble and enjoy what you do. The last thing I would say is to leave everything in the ring - don’t walk out and think “what if.....?”. At the end of the day it’s a tournament.