We interviewed National Team member in Men -74kg division Khalid Hassan.
“To be honest, I went in there to win maybe a couple of matches.”
Q. Khalid, first of all, congratulations on making the team! Unlike many of your teammates who qualified based on their World ranking, you claimed the spot during the Team Trials tournament last month. You’ve put an amazing performance, by the way, winning against some highly regarded opponents. How expected was the result to you?
A: To be honest, I went in there to win maybe a couple of matches but not to qualify. At the end of the day, I just kept going, step by step, match after match. After I beat the top guys in Canada, I saw a great opportunity and went for it. I am glad I did it!
Q. At Worlds, what kind of performance would you be okay with? Of course, everyone wants to win. But will it be disappointing if you do not make the podium?
A: Obviously to win a medal is the goal. But honestly I am thankful to even make the National Team at this young age. I went to the Junior Worlds last year, hopefully it is going to be a different experience this time, fighting a lot bigger people, more mature fighters, world champions, Olympians. It will be definitely a next step and the new challenge for me. Win or lose, I will definitely come out with experience, with something to learn and get better for the next time.
“I am still in grade 12, just got accepted to Ryerson university where I will study Computer Science.”
Q. Any hobbies? What is your life like outside of taekwondo?
A: I play soccer, I am on the high school soccer team. I am still in grade 12, just got accepted to Ryerson university where I will study Computer Science.
Q. For every high performance athlete at the competition, there are maybe another 20 who never compete but practice taekwondo regularly. How did you start taekwondo, and was it all planned from the beginning to go into the ring?
A: I started taekwondo at the age of 8 at YMCA. I was a kid, it was 1 hour a week program at the community centre that kept me busy and fit. I liked it when I made their competition team and went to my first local tournament. Then there was more competitions, then Nationals. Every competition that I placed in, I aimed higher. After I went to Master Kim it became the whole new experience, next level of competitions and straining. That’s it.