LEVEL UP: Coach Darren Finch with Catherine Ovenden as she receives her taekwondo black stripes.
LEVEL UP: Coach Darren Finch with Catherine Ovenden as she receives her taekwondo black stripes. Contributed

Laidley pair aiming high at taekwondo world championships

TAEKWONDO: The countdown is on to the International Taekwondo Federation World Championships and two Lockyer Valley competitors have their sights set on one thing - gold.

Bai Rui Taekwon-Do Laidley instructor Darren Finch and his student Catherine Ovenden earned their places at the world championships in Sydney this coming September during their outstanding performances at the nationals last year.

Both came to the sport as mature athletes, and started training for the title early last year, before ticking off their first goal - nationals.

"The plan is to win,” Finch said.

"It would be a great achievement especially if I can do it at 51 years old.

"For Catherine to win, it would be a great achievement. She's a mum with two boys, it's going to show them that anything is possible for them.”

After a busy year of competing as much as possible, four months out from the world titles they are stepping up their training.

"We train in Brisbane every Saturday with all the Bai Rui Taekwon-Do clubs, and we recently attended a training weekend with world champion Carl van Roon, who was brought in from New Zealand,” Finch said.

"We trained all weekend with him, and the biggest thing we were given was homework, we've got to start doing drills to get prepared.”

Each training session is a mix of fitness and stretching, patterns (fundamental movements in Tawkwon-Do), kicking and self defence, but the pair will be placing extra emphasis on mental focus.

"The mind-set is the biggest thing we're going to need in these last four months,” Finch said.

"Mentally we've got to start getting ourselves ready to go into the competition.”