Hypolite earns silver at US Open
Lenn Hypolite seized welterweight silver for Trinidad and Tobago at the US Open Taekwondo Championships, in Las Vegas, Nevada, last week.
Hypolite opened his campaign with a 12-3 whipping of an American. He followed up with a 13-6 victory over another American, before stopping a Slovenian 8-3 in the quarterfinal round.
In his semifinal duel with Brazilian Diego Ramos Azevedo, Hypolite came away with a 7-4 triumph.
The final featured Hypolite and Tahir Guelec. The T&T taekwondoist gave a good account of himself, but was defeated 8-3 by his German opponent.
Dorian Alexander also put in a solid performance for T&T at the US Open.
He reached the quarterfinal round in the featherweight division with victories over an American--in sudden death overtime--and a Guatemalan (12-8).
Alexander battled hard in his last eight showdown with Mexico's Idulio Isalas Gomez, but lost 9-7 to the eventual silver medallist.
Germany's Daniel Manz struck gold.
Another T&T taekwondoist, Ahishar Maxima made his exit in the opening round of the bantamweight division, losing 24-12 to a Thai opponent.
Hypolite, Alexander and Maxima are based in New York, and train at West Side Taekwondo under the guidance of Masters Sung Chul Whang and Jun Chul Whang, the men who coached T&T's Chinedum Osuji during his competitive days. Osuji was a standout for T&T, bagging bronze at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
He also competed at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.
At last week's US Open, Hypolite, Alexander and Maxima got coaching assistance from Masters Fabio Takahashi and Daniel Chuang.
In addition to the elite trio, there were five other T&T taekwondoists on show in Las Vegas.
In the female cadet (ages 12-14) lightweight division, Jovann Persad beat American Alyxandra Lopez 6-4 but then lost 16-0 to another American, Lyanne Chang. Competing in the same division, Chelsea Mofford went out in the opening round, suffering a 15-1 defeat at the hands of American Claudia Navarrete.
Johnathan Tardieu battled illness and a very strong opponent in the opening round of the male junior (15-17) welterweight division.
He fought well, but eventually lost 21-11 to New Yorker Dylan Dsa, the eventual champion.
Jean-Maurice Young suffered a 12-4 defeat at the hands of American Dinesh Balasubramanian in the first round of the male youth (10-11) middleweight division.
And in the male ultra (41-50) middleweight division, Danchelli Forde beat American Robert Morales 6-3.
In the quarterfinal round, however, the T&T taekwondoist met his Waterloo, going under 4-1 to another American, Kim Giseon.