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We transcribe the article published in the newspaper Today´s Zaman about the “Best Coach of the 2014″:
Sky the limit for Ali Şahin, men’s taekwondo coach of year
It was a close race, but a Turk won the best men’s coach of 2014 in a fans’ choice poll on major taekwondo newspaper on line MasTKD.com, as 23 percent of the nearly 52,000 voters selected Ali Şahin as their top choice.
Among other honors, 10 young Turkish athletes placed in the inaugural World Cadet Taekwondo Tournament, contributing to Şahin’s success as a coach in 2014.
The Korean trainer of the Mexican national team was just behind him with 21 percent of the vote. Another Turkish trainer came in a close second for women’s coach of the year. Gülşah Kuşcu Alonso, who currently coaches the Mexican women’s team, earned 20 percent, narrowly trailing French coach Myriam Baverel’s 28 percent.
But as for coach of the year Şahin, his work continues on in Greece. He took eight athletes with him to the Greek Open Taekwondo Tournament last week in the hope of earning points for the 2016 Olympics. Ultimately, he wants to repeat some of the country’s greatest successes from London 2012.
“We reaped the benefits of many long years of planning and hard work when we won one gold and one silver medal at the 2012 London Olympic Games. Now, we want to preserve that success and move forward,” Şahin said. “The clock is ticking for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. In this sense, we want to make the most of 2015 and represent our country in the best way possible,” he added.
Servet Tazegül won gold in the men’s 68-kilogram competition and Nur Tatar took silver in the women’s 67-kilogram event.
Turkey’s top trainer
The past year has been a good one for Şahin, but many of his greatest achievements as a coach come from 2011, when he led the Turks to the World Taekwondo Championships in Gyeongju, South Korea.
It was there that Tazegül won the gold medal in the 68-kilogram, Yunus Sarı won silver in the 80-kilogram and Rıdvan Baygut won bronze in the 74-kilogram men’s events. Under Şahin, three women took bronze in the competition: Rukiye Yıldırım in the 46-kilogram, Dürdane Altunel in the 62-kilogram and Hatice Kübra Yangın in the 53-kilogram competition.
In the European Taekwondo Championships, Şahin has coached four gold medals, four silver medals and six bronze medals.
After the peak of Turkish taekwondo in 2011, 2013 was a lull after the coach’s successes. Despite bringing 15 athletes to the World Taekwondo Championships in Pueblo, Mexico, Şahin’s teams did not pick up any medals.
Şahin followed in the footsteps of his older brother Metin Şahin, who has been chairman of the Turkish Taekwondo Federation since 2003. Metin also defended his younger brother when audio recordings in which he allegedly demanded bribes from athletes surfaced in 2013.
As an athlete in his younger years, Ali Şahin participated in four European Taekwondo Championships between 1984 and 1990, gradually moving up from a bronze finish in 1986, to silver in 1988 and finally to gold in 1990.
He also competed in the World Taekwondo Championships in 1993 and 1995, placing second in 1993. He also placed second at the 1989 World Cup, but did not place in 1991.
Şahin entered his first major international tournament as a 16-year-old in 1983 but unfortunately did not manage to place. It was the World Championships in Copenhagen.
He later participated in pre-Olympics events twice, but never qualified for the Games. However, he has already made up for that in his career as a coach. Turkey has Olympic medals in only six disciplines, and taekwondo is one of them. He was the coach of the very first Turk to earn Olympic gold in taekwondo in 2012 and is now doing everything he can to bring more success back in 2016.