Mexico's Taekwondo Elite Seek Ranking Points in Belgium

Mexico's top taekwondo athletes, including world champion Daniela Souza, are in Belgium for the G-2 International Open. The team is seeking international experience and ranking points.

Mexico's Taekwondo Elite Seek Ranking Points in Belgium
Mexico's top taekwondo athletes battle for ranking points and Olympic qualification at the Belgian G-2 Open. Credit: CONADE

Mexico's taekwondo titans are hopping continents faster than you can shout “chagui”! Our Olympic hopefuls are on a whirlwind European adventure with their sights set on the Belgian G-2 International Taekwondo Open. And with them are the reigning Pan American champions, fresh from their triumphant showing at the Santiago 2023 games.

Leading the charge is the indomitable Daniela Souza Naranjo, a force to be reckoned with in the -49 kg division and our national team's shining star for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Daniela, who kicked off her year with a gold medal at the United States Open (because, of course, she did), is fresh off a training session at Mexico's esteemed CNAR facility.

Guadalajara 2022 world medalist Leslie Soltero García is on a mission for Olympic glory. Joining her is the equally relentless Brandon Plaza Hernández, a fighter with a heart of pure competition. The rest of Mexico's finest, Juan Pablo Esquivel, Uriel Gomeztagle, and Alejandro Ávila, round out this dream team, and they're out to shake things up in Belgium.

Training Camps and Continental Hopping

This isn't some pleasure cruise. Our national athletes are bouncing between camps like a Taekwondo-fueled pinball machine. Their whirlwind tour included a two-week stint in Manchester, England, because a little rain never hurt anyone, right? After the fight in Belgium? Well, they'll take another spin in the ol' training camp carousel with a Brussels-based session to really hone those moves.

Now, here's where it gets extra twisty – even the coaches are on the move! While Daniela gets a Parisian workout, the rest of our team heads back to CNAR before taking on the Pan American Olympic qualifiers in the Dominican Republic. Talk about a strategic divide-and-conquer approach.

Mexico's Olympic Taekwondo Dream

Why the globetrotting and relentless training? It all boils down to Olympic glory. Mexico already has two tickets to Paris 2024 in hand – Carlos Sansores Acevedo in the men's +80 kg and our very own Daniela Souza in the women's -49 kg. Imagine the medal tally if Soltero and Plaza join the ranks?

So, when you see these athletes flash across your screen during the Belgian competition, remember, they're not just fighting for medals. This is a grand race fueled by Olympic dreams, where every spin kick and spinning hook kick brings them closer to Paris-bound glory. Keep those eyes peeled and those cheers ready Mexico – this will be one heck of a Taekwondo ride.