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Sophomore Alex Cinque Takes Collegiate Taekwondo Title

SPORTS EDITOR

Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 02:04

 

Next time you are walking around campus, keep this in mind: walking those same paths is Alex Cinque, and she could totally beat you up.

On April 8, Cinque, a sophomore at Fordham College Rose Hill, won the women’s welterweight black belt sparring championship at the National Collegiate Taekwondo Championships, held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass. With her gold-medal finish, Cinque qualified for the World University Taekwondo Championships, to be held this May in South Korea.

Cinque has been practicing taekwondo since she was five years old.

“My parents wanted me to start with a sport when I was young, so they brought me to all these different dance schools and stuff, but I hated everything except for taekwondo,” Cinque said. “There was [a taekwondo school] in my town and my parents brought me to it, and I was just obsessed with it right away.”

Since then, Cinque’s taekwondo honors have piled up. She has won a slew of state, regional and national competitions and is also a two-time member of the U.S. National Team. As a senior in high school, she won the gold medal at the Pan American Championships.

It was Cinque’s success at the smaller competitions that put her in a position to qualify for the bigger stages.

“There are state and regional championships, and if you medal there, then you can go on to nationals and then worlds,” Cinque said. “At nationals, you have to win gold to go to worlds.”

Cinque did take the gold at nationals, meaning she will leave on May 20for Pocheon, South Korea for the World University Taekwondo Championships.

“At nationals there were, I think, like 100 schools and over a 1,000 kids, and obviously at worlds there’s going to be ton more than that,” she said. “There’s going to be people from all over the world. It should be really crazy.”

Cinque was even more pleased with her performance at nationals considering she had recently suffered an injury.

“It really meant a lot to me that I did well at collegiate nationals,” Cinque said. “I was out for a little over a year due to some injuries, and this was my first major comeback tournament. I’m so happy that I was able to represent Fordham.”

Cinque, who is from Ossining, NY, trains at a taekwondo school in Little Falls, NJ She trains three days during the week and on weekends.

“We do a lot of cardio and stuff at the track,” she said. “We do a lot of technical work and a lot of actual sparring as well.”

It is the same taekwondo school where she trained when she was in high school. According to Cinque, the ability to train at that same taekwondo school was an important factor in her decision of where to go to college.

“Fordham is perfect because it’s about 30 minutes from my house, but also like 45 minutes or an hour away from my taekwondo school. If I wanted to go to college farther away, it wouldn’t have really worked out, and I really liked Fordham, too, so it was perfect that it was in this vicinity.”

Cinque will continue to train in preparation for next month’s world championships.

“I’m training hard, so hopefully I’ll be able to win a world championship,” she said. “It’s an honor just to go. I’m really excited. This is another step in my goal to go to the Olympics some day.”

While she won’t be competing in the Games this summer in London, the 2016 Games in Rio de Janerio are a possibility.

“That’s my ultimate goal,” she said. “That would be awesome.”

Additional reporting by John Lee, contributing writer.

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