NZ Chinwoo Team Give Solid Performance at World Wushu Carnival (by Glenn Selwyn)

Sixteen hours after leaving Auckland, a tired group of competitors, coach and supporters arrived on the doorstep of our hotel in Ipoh attempting to cope with a 5 hour time difference and thoughts of the upcoming two day long competition.

This was to be a true test of the team given the very strong field in from China and of course the Malaysian team on their home turf.

The first thing that strikes you is the exceptionally high regard in which Coach Guo is held internationally and how lucky the team has been to train under him. Yes this has been said before but until you attend one of these events it is hard to appreciate just how much of a difference this makes.

Our first two days in Ipoh involved registration, training, more banquets that I like to admit thanks to the great Malaysian hospitality and of course the opening ceremony. I lost count of the number of people that took part in a mass demonstration of Tan Tui but it was great to see most competing nations represented alongside each other all working in unison. Very much a statement of the Chin Woo spirit.

As the first day of the competition drew closer, an edgy coach Guo spent time running through the start lists uncovering just how big a challenge the team was going to face over the coming days of competition.

A last week change in venue left all competitors with the challenge of no air conditioning and as the draw would have it Siu Yuat Wong became the first to test the conditions as the first competitor to take to the carpet. As anyone will tell you being first up is both nerve wracking and an almost impossible position to win from. Dispite these factors Siu Yuat came away with a very well deserved Silver medal for a powerful and flowing performance of Gun Shu.

With such a large number of athletes, the intense competitive spirit that exists between the Shanghai and Tianjin teams and of course the high standard of Malaysian entrants, our New Zealand team had the deck stacked against them in all events. This was most obvious in the large and very skilled fields for adult Jie Quan, Ba Gua Dao and the junior Gong Li Quan, with the latter running two competitors simultaneously to get through the field in a timely manner.

Over the two days of competition spectators were treated to some incredible displays of skill across all divisions, with all of the New Zealand team performing very well. Having a number of professional and semi professional athletes setting the standard in all groups puts into perspective the achievement of the NZ squad in remaining competitive while holding down a job or getting an education.

Competition was capped off by the teams event with the Tianjin professional B team most certainly a highlight, delivering a group Dao performance that held all captivated.

Very special thanks needs to go to coach Guo for having the patience and skill to guide the New Zealand team to another excellent performance. To our Patron and Team Manager Kenneth Liu for helping navigate the team through the organisational hurdles and providing some very sound advice and commentary to the athletes. To Peter Yu for his boundless energy and enthusiasm in making sure we all got there wrapped in the spirit of Chin Woo. In addition to all those who supported, transported and everything else in between, the team to Malaysia.

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