Hard work and dedication is slowly paying off for Deanna Kyriazopoulos as her journey takes her one step closer to her goal of representing Australia in taekwondo at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The world-ranked 24th seed and Belmore local recently came home with the Under 49kg division gold medal from the Oceania Club Championships held in Canberra late last year.
“This competition was open to all athletes within the Oceanic region and was an important win for me. This has now made me the Oceanic gold medallist and also gave me valuable points towards my world ranking,” said Deanna.
This year will be a busy one for the Year 12 Rosebank College student who is currently juggling between her HSC, training camps and competitions. She will also be competing at the World Taekwondo Federation Australian Open in July and she is hoping to attend the Belgium and Netherlands Open in March as well.
“Balancing between my training and studies is difficult due to a demanding schedule and constant travel. However, I am very disciplined and organised and spend hours before, during and after travel catching up on school work and utilising any spare time I have in order to get ahead,” said Deanna.
“It’s hard to have a stable friendship base when you are constantly on the move. I am very fortunate to have the older athletes mentor me and guide me as they too have followed a similar path and experienced the same issues at school as I do.”
She currently trains four times a week with Australian Olympic Coach Ali Khalil in Hoxton Park at Global Martial Arts as well from doing additional strength and conditioning sessions during the week. She keeps up her fitness at Canterbury League Club’s C-Life Health Club at after receiving a complimentary elite sportsperson gym membership from the Club.
“Canterbury is proud to support Deanna, who is such a wonderful Belmore home-grown athlete, as she chases her dream of representing Australia at the Olympic Games,” said Dr George Peponis OAM, Chairman of Canterbury League Club.