Nine-Year-Old Wins Pair of Taekwondo World Championships

By: Nate Sulham Email
By: Nate Sulham Email

Cameron Hazell wasn't expecting to win one World Championship at the Taekwondo World Championships last week in Arkansas, let alone two.

Yet that's exactly what the nine-year-old black belt from Stafford did, claiming the titles in the Creative Weapons and Extreme Weapons divisions.

"When I started I was like 'Well I don't think I'm going to do well' but I made it this far and I think I'm pretty good at it," Hazell explained.

With a pair of nunchucks in her talented hands, she beat out hundreds of competitors from all over the globe.

Hazell trains at ATA Leadership Martial Arts in Charlottesville. Owners Ryan and Elizabeth Cirone have been with Hazell since she was a student at The Covenant School, prior to moving to Stafford.

The Cirones were also competing at the event when they found out their pupil had won.

"She'd been winning all year long and making us proud all year long and I knew she was going to win one of them," Ryan explained. "And then Mr. Hazell, sends me a text message while I'm competing: 'She won World Champ!' and then I run over to (Elizabeth's) ring and I'm like 'She won World Champ!' and we were just very, very excited."

The Cirones insist Cameron's success is due to her dedication and drive.

"Even with school going on she would go home and run through the stuff then come back and ask questions and always looking for help," Elizabeth Cirone said.

"Even if she had a bad tournament she didn't give up. She just kept working."

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