Taekwondo rising star Ruby DeRuiter has returned from her first international event with a silver medal.
The Ballarat Clarendon College student competed in the under-18 female black belt division of South Korea’s World Taekwondo Expo and Tournament, an event which attracts teams from more than 30 countries and more than 5000 athletes.
Travelling as part of a group of 20 athletes from Australia, DeRuiter spent time in Seoul as a tourist before heading to the athletes’ village and stadium in Muju ahead of the competition.
“It was all a bit surreal to start with,” DeRuiter said.
“The day of the comp I was super nervous, but in the lead up to it we had so much fun meeting the other athletes from all over the world.”
The 15-year-old said the experience had opened her mind to all the international opportunities the sport offered.
“Going into the competition, I had no idea how I was going to go,” she said.
“Coming out with a silver medal, especially at my first international event, it was so amazing. You don’t know what other countries you are going to come up against. “
DeRuiter has trained at Ballarat’s Trainor Taekwondo Academy for the past six years, also trains at the Melbourne Taekwondo Centre and is supported by WestVic Academy of Sport.
A competitor in Olympic sparring for the past three years, DeRuiter has won a gold medal at the state championships and silver at the national championships.
Her next competition will be the national championships in September, while she hopes to qualify for the US Open, Belgium Open and Oceanic Championships in 2019.
While juggling school, training and competition, DeRuiter teaches self-defence classes aimed at young girls and has commenced a coach training program at Trainor Taekwondo Academy.