Taekwadham! Martial Arts Varsity Victory

Date Published: 16.06.2022

DPhil student Wissam takes win for men's first team.

"I had been sick for a while and was probably in the worse shape I've ever been in."

Not the circumstances that scream "let's pick Wissam". But that's what the first men's Taekwondo team did. They selected Wissam (DPhil Mathematics, 2019) for the recent opening Varsity match-up against Cambridge.

His opponent had been in the Egyptian national junior team. "He was very good," Wissam put it bluntly.

Wissam was also no newcomer, having picked up the sport in Lebanon at the age of 8. By 13 he had a black belt. Just a year later, he got his second level of black belt (second dan). He even got podium positions at some national tournaments. But as time went on, he dropped competitive play and then dropped the sport entirely, only picking it up again in Oxford a year ago.

"The fight was very tough and challenging," Wissam remarked. The referee told him that it had been one of the best Taekwondo varsity games in had seen in recent years. You wouldn't hear that about a one-sided fight.

Happiness rushed over Wissam when it ended – a sense of achievement from the hours of training and extra sessions attended. And this was before he even knew who'd won.

Of course, we know the result. "I am extremely proud to have represented Oxford and Wadham in the Varsity game, and to have brought home the victory!" Wissam said.

We're #WadhamProud of you too, Wissam!