GOYANG, Korea, (April 24, 2022) – The 2021-2022 competition season is being kind to Ainhoa Delgado Ruiz and Alejandro Marin Borras.
The Spanish duo won the Recognized Poomsae Pair Over 30 category at the European Poomsae Championships in Seixal, Portugal, in November – and have now captured the title once more at the Worlds in Goyang, Korea.
“This year I left work and left everything to be more focused on this,” said Delgado Ruiz. “So having this outcome is very exciting, I am very happy.”
“It’s very satisfying result,” added Marin Borras. “After many years of hard work, it feels like a gift for all our efforts.”
The pair have trained together for four years and have been a team for two. Who or what linked them together?
“Sometimes, the federation takes the highest ranking individuals and puts them together - but not in this case,” said Team Spain Coach Jean Miguel Gomez Gomez. “They actually are from the same club.”
The duo, who are both aged 32, train together in a suburb of Barcelona. The next question is: In a team of two, who is in charge?
Both agree: It is Marin Borras - who is, in fact, Delgado Ruiz’s teacher.
“There is very special equilibrium in this team,” he said. “I have long years of experience in international championships, but she has been very easy to work with, she easily takes my instructions and adapts to my style.”
“I think that, with him, I have a very special connection that is about more than just Poomsae,” she said. “This connection transfers to others, it is a different level of coordination.”
Asked if the two are intimately linked, both laugh. “Not romantic,” said Marin Borras. “Just professional!”
Regarding their future plans, Delgado Ruiz says simply, “Rest! We were so focused on getting ready for this that we have not thought about the next one – we are living in the moment.”
Still, their partnership looks set to have considerable longevity.
In Marin Borras’ words, Poomsae is a martial art that matures with the practitioner - and indeed, there are categories available for players in their 60s and 70s. Looking ahead, there is no reason for the two to break their partnership.
“[Changes in] life circumstances might give us limits,” said Marin Borras. “But if not, it could last as long as we want.”
Taekwondo is a combat sport and many Poomsae players prioritize power, ferocity or boldness. It is also a highly demanding athletic endeavor, which may be why other Poomsae players emphasize flexibility, strength or balance.
“We are not focused too much on power,” said Marin Borras. “We mostly focus on performing elegantly.”