Peter strikes gold in USA

Local man Peter Stewart, 5th Dan Instructor with Lisburn Taekwondo Club, struck Gold at the World Police and Fire Games in the USA recently.
Local man Peter Stewart, 5th Dan Instructor with Lisburn Taekwondo Club, struck Gold at the World Police and Fire Games in the USA recently.

Local man Peter Stewart struck Gold in the USA at the World Police and Fire Games recently.

Peter, a Master 5th Dan instructor with Lisburn Taekwondo Club, successfully defended his three gold medals from the same Games, which were held in Belfast in 2013.

Master Peter Stewart shows off his medals.

Master Peter Stewart shows off his medals.

He also added a further gold medal and two silvers to his overall haul at the Games in Fairfax, Virginia, USA.

Peter said he was feeling “quite confident” ahead of the Games, which took place from June 26 to July 5.

“I won it in Belfast so I was quite confident,” Peter said.

“Being in America was slightly different,” he added. “The first player I fought was American and obviously all the support was for him, but I felt confident.

“I’m glad to have won, I trained hard for it for the last two years and in the last six months I trained every day.

“The next Games are in Montreal in 2017, so now I will concentrate on that.”

The World Police and Fire Games are held bi-annually and Peter once again competed in the Taekwondo events, which were held over two days on June 29 and 30.

It was a tough competition but Peter managed to come away with three golds and a silver medal.

First up was the Poomsae, with Peter competing in three categories, Individual, Pairs and a Team event.

He also took part in the Kyorugi, or sparring, event, which is currently an Olympic sport.

There were players from the USA, Russia, Mexico, China, Germany, Canada, Brazil, France and India.

Peter’s first fight was against the USA and naturally he had the home support.

His opponent got off to a good start and Peter was 4-1 down after the first round.

“In the first round I was sluggish,” said Peter. “I was the only person from Northern Ireland there and I had no support at all. It was different from Belfast where the crowd were behind you, but I found my rhythm.”

In the second round Peter relaxed and took control of the match catching his opponent with two clean head shots and a few to the body, giving the local man an 8-4 lead at the end of the second round.

The third round was more of the same, keeping his distance and scoring with more body and head shots, giving a final score of the first match 15-5 in Peter’s favour.

The second match was against Brazil, who Peter faced in the final of the 2013 games.

Peter trailed the Brazilian into the third round, but with 15 seconds left to go in the fight Peter landed a clean head shot to take the score to 6-5 in Peter’s favour.

The third match was against another USA player but as they were called, the USA player pulled out due to an injury he had sustained after losing his first two fights.

After the other players had fought each other, Peter was the only player to win all his fights, making Peter World Police and Fire Games champion again in 2015, making him the current double World Champion.

While at the Games Peter also took part in a few other events, Stair race, Indoor Rowing and a Dragon Boat race coming away with another Gold in the Stair race and a Silver in the Indoor rowing, giving a total of four golds and two silver medals from the Games.

Peter explained: “I only did those events as I was going so far to compete, to get a medal was brilliant.

“It was nice to win in Belfast, but it was also nice to win away from home.”

Peter would like to thank Lisburn & Castlereagh Sport and Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council for their continued support.

If you would like to find out more about Lisburn Taekwondo Club you can visit them at www.lisburntaekwondo.co.uk or you can find them on Facebook.