Tony Schiena has been awarded Athlete of the Year. After winning the Black Belt Open Kumite World Championship title 2001, together with captaining the 2001 US Kumite team to gold in the team event and winning the Kubodo world title, he returned to competition this year (2003), to put up an inspirational fight.
Tony could not defend his title in 2002 due to an unfortunate accident, resulting in him breaking both his ankles and under-going surgery during the time of the 2002 World Championship. Tony competed one last time this year in the team event. As a member of the US team he decided to compete although he would not be able to kick (anyone familiar with his kumite will know that he is an extremely proficient and dangerous kicker).
In his first fight, Tony received a devastating,
badly controlled punch to the nose, resulting in his
nose being broken. The fight before his, resulted
in a fellow US team member having to withdraw due to a
severe eye injury. If Tony withdrew from the
fight, the US team would lose. Tony continued
(with a broken nose) and equalized, taking the team to
the next round. In the final fight, the US and
English teams had even points, making the final bout,
the deciding bout. Tony won 4 - 0.
Tony has won numerous titles since the age of six and has amassed a
huge collection of medals and trophies, including the 1997 Air Force Open title, a second place at the 2000 Shotokan International Goodwill Championship and various others World Championship
placings. Tony Schiena is still an undefeated World Champion.
John J. Mullin
Exec. Chairman WTKO