TAIPEI (Taiwan News)--Taiwan’s reigning Universiade gold medalist Lin Wang-ting (林琬婷) told a Taipei radio station that she has set her sights on successfully defending her taekwondo title at 2017 Taipei Summer Universiade on home soil.
Before winning women’s under 46-kilogram weight class at 2015 Gwangju Universiade, Lin had won a silver medal in the same weight class at the Asian Games in South Korea in 2014.
Lin, 21, told the Taipei Broadcasting Station during an interview that she has been training with other athletes at the National Sports Training Center (NSTC) in Kaohsiung City, aiming to take on the second Universiade challenge.
Lin said her contact with taekwondo got its start in grade school when her father wanted her to learn the martial art to defend herself. At first the hardship made her not wanting to practice, but gradually she took an interest in the rough sport, she said. With the encouragement from her coach and her father, she embarked on a career as a taekwondo athlete competing for the country.
Reminiscing the moment when she first began training at the NSTC, she said she was pressured to keep up with strenuous training regimen and the pace of other athletes. “Now I’m running ahead of most other athletes,” she said.
Speaking of the 2015 Gwangju Universiade, Lin said it was the most impressive of all events she had participated so far. She said she was only 19 at that time and had been in a slump in the lead up to the event; therefore, she told herself “to treat every match as the last match and to leave no regrets behind.” To her great surprise, she got into the final and took home her first gold medal from an international event.
The win boosted her confidence and prompted her to take on the challenge of qualifying for the 2016 Rio Olympics, but she failed the qualification by a narrow margin. She said she has been training for her next goal—the 2017 Taipei Summer Universiade—and is confident to successfully defend her title.
Lin said she wished to see big home crowds cheering at the Taipei Universiade. “Even though taekwondo is a sport that Taiwan has great chances of winning gold medals, crowds were usually smaller in size than competitors. [I] saw a small venue in the Philippines packed with a home crowd, and the atmosphere was electrifying,” she said.
“Taipei is a place of blessing for me, I represented Taiwan for the first time in Taipei, and I hope I can use the home court advantage to retain the 2017 Universiade taekwondo gold medal in Taiwan.”
Lin said taekwondo is a sport in which scores are given to a competitor who effectively kicks the opponent with legs, and therefore agile footwork is very important. In the early days, traditional protective gear was worn and scores were given based on the referee’s judgment, but now electronic protective gear and helmets are worn to assist in calculating scores, she added.