Posted on 18/11/2013
Guntur Dwiarmein 'striking' a pose!
Our very own Royal Holloway student has recently represented GB in Taekwondo at the 2013 World Championships in Bali, Indonesia.
Gunter Dwiarmein, 3rd Year Economics with French student, had it tough from the beginning being drawn in the group with all the favourites. However, all went well and now Dwiarmein is now ranked 19th in the world.
Dwiarmein has already had a very successful year, winning a medal in every competition he has competed in.
Lille International Open
British Taekwondo National Championships
1 x Gold, 1 x Silver
Milton Keynes UTA International Open
2 x Gold
Austrian European Taekwondo Union A-class
Since getting back from Bali, we have caught up with Dwiarmein to ask him a couple of questions.
When did you first get interested in Taekwondo?
My brother practised Taekwondo when we lived in Indonesia, however, when we moved to England in 1995 he stopped doing it and we were unable to find a club for him to continue it. A few years later, one of my closest friends started doing Taekwondo at a new local club and asked me to join him – I have never looked back since!
Who are your sporting heroes?
I would have to say that Roger Federer is my main sporting idol/hero. The manner in which he dominated his sport for such a long period of time is truly mesmerising and motivates me to try and become the best in my chosen sport. He will surely be remembered as one of the greatest tennis players if not one of the greatest athletes. His charity work through his Roger Federer Foundation is also inspirational.
Have you broken any records?
I have been fortunate to break many records during my sporting career. Most notably, I hold the record for being the youngest ever ‘Senior National Champion’, winning my first senior national title in February 2011 after moving up from junior division.
I have also represented GB at more World Championships than any other British Taekwondo player, having represented GB at six World Championships.
What are the highlights of playing Taekwondo?
Taekwondo is such a dynamic and exciting sport to watch and is even more enjoyable to participate in. I have been fortunate enough to represent my country at numerous World and European championships and the adrenaline, excitement and nerves you experience is unlike anything else.
What are your future aspirations?
I hope to continue competing into the future and add to my 10 National titles. I aim aiming to finish 2014 in the top 5 of the European rankings by competing more across the European circuit and gaining valuable ranking points. In the 2015 World Championships in Vietnam, I hope to become the first British player in my division to break into the top 8 in the World. At some point down the line I also see myself becoming a coach and hopefully help some future Taekwondo champions achieve their goals and dreams.
Is it difficult to balance sports and Uni work?
I always knew balancing sports and Uni life would be difficult, however I have learnt a lot from juggling my Taekwondo career and education throughout secondary school and college. In an ideal world, I would be training every day for about 2 or 3 hours but I do as much as I can and usually train 4 or 5 times a week and fit in my Uni work around my training schedule.
What advice would you give to your peers who have heavy schedules?
I always find breaking things down into smaller, more manageable tasks helps a lot. And it’s good to write a ‘to do list’ for the week or day, so you’re able to prioritise your tasks. Preparation always helps too, for example making meals in batches for the next few days, or preparing your bag for the next day the night before – these little things help you save a little bit of time every day and over the course of the year the time soon adds up.
What made you pick Economics as a degree when you have promising career in Taekwondo?
I was always brought up with the notion that Taekwondo was a hobby and that my education should always come first. Upon finishing University, I will still be young enough to pursue a full time career in Taekwondo should I wish, but I would also have a solid, academic degree that I can always fall back on.
I would like to gratefully acknowledge the generous donation from the Royal Holloway Alumni fund, which enabled me to compete at the recent 2013 World Championships in Bali where I achieved a World Ranking of 19. It is with their support that I was able to follow my passion and compete at the highest level possible in my sport.