On Friday 18th March, three members of ITF Scotland travelled to St. Petersburg, Russia at the invite of ITF St. Petersburg, and the Russian Taekwon-Do Federation to the Northern Palmira Cup. This was a two-day event held in the new Nova Centre, in St. Petersburg town centre. The competition had over 900 entrants, across two days with a Grand Gala Final on the Sunday evening.
On arrival in St. Petersburg, the warmth of the hospitality and professionalism of the organisers, already overwhelmed us. Along with members from Israel, Ireland, Greece and Uzbekistan, we spent Saturday with Master Lazaros Tsilfidis and other distinguished guests on a sightseeing tour of what is an amazing city, full of so many wondrous and historic sights.
On Sunday we arrived at the arena and the level of professionalism was clear to see; a futuristic, state of the art venue with electronic scoring across all rings, four huge TV screens showing all events, and to top it off there was the Gala Final in the evening, with many special guests in attendance.
First competing was Miss Megan Brown, in Patterns, winning Bronze. Sparring saw her dominating, and taking Gold in a convincing final against Uzbekistan.
It was then time for the Gala Finals, and we were certainly entertained with many great fights, and a spectacle of shows in between bouts. Mr. Iain O’Hare fighting in the first of the finals, and after a strong performance took Gold against a formidable Russia opponent.
Both competitors showed their skill, and took their wins convincingly. A great event and experience for both competitors in preparation for the European Championships in six weeks time, in Finland.
After the competition we were treated to a wonderful Russian banquet, and party, with some dancing, speeches and great friendship.
I would like to extend our thanks to Master Tsilfidis and his amazing team of young enthusiastic people he has on board. On behalf of my team, and ITF Scotland I thank you for the warmth, friendship and hospitality shown to us over the weekend. If your looking for an international event to gain experience, this should be a must on your calendar, 900 competitors, 2 days, very high standard, easy and affordable to access. We will be back for sure.
Mr. John McIlvaney
ITF Scotland Team Manager