Image: Mackenzie Macdonald, in blue, fights at the World Cadet Taekwondo Championships. ​

By Pam Kiriakidis

TAEKWONDO fighter Mackenzie Macdonald placed fifth at the World Cadet Taekwondo Championships in Bosnia and Herzegovina last month when she represented Australia for the second time. 

The 13-year-old defeated representatives from Bulgaria and Jordan in the best of three matches with calculated and poised attacks, competing in the 12 to 14 years, 152-centimetre division.   

“It was an amazing opportunity to be able to go again and prove that I was competitive on the world stage,” Mackenzie said.  

“I applied a range of scoring kicks and I was far more strategic this time, which was another goal heading into this event – I am really proud of the way I fought and did my very best.”

But just by one kick, Mackenzie lost in the final five seconds against France in the quarterfinals – missing an opportunity to take a medal home.

Mackenzie Macdonald, of Wandong, represented Australia at the World Cadet Taekwondo Championships at Bosnia and Herzegovina last month, where she came fifth overall. ​

While the loss was heartbreaking, she said making the quarter-finals was a major accomplishment, and she learnt a lot to take into future national competitions.  

“Some major take aways from the competition would be simply staying extra focused in the fight, not getting distracted,” she said.  

“The overseas fighters are competition fit, mentally and physically more than us. I was so close, physically and mentally but I just need to find an extra one per cent to close the match on the world stage.” 

Mackenzie then went onto win gold at the Bosnian Open, winning all three fights against Daniya Al, of Oman, Hena Melez, of Bosnia and Herzegovina – who she competed against earlier at World Cadet Taekwondo Championships – and then Adela Fafulovic, of Bosnia and Herzegovina, where she secured 2-0 with a point gap in the final round.  

Mackenzie’s upcoming competition will be at the Australian National Championships in Perth next month, and then she will take a reset with her coach Jery Moraitis, to set a plan for another year in the cadet division.