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Frederick, Benner defend World martial arts titles

Elena Frederick, left, and Lee Benner successfully defended their World age-group championships recently at the 2017 ATA Martial Arts Tournament of Champions in Little Rock, Arkansas. 

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Elena Frederick and Lee Benner successfully retained their World titles recently in the 60-plus division at the World Taekwondo Championships in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Frederick, 62, owner of Frederick's Martial Arts Gym, captured a pair of gold medals in Combat Sparring and Weapon Sparring for her age and rank division. She also placed third in Sparring for bronze.

Benner, 61, garnered four medals in her age and rank division, highlighted by the world title in the Traditional Weapons division. Traditional Weapons is a predesigned form using a stick-like weapon requiring power, timing and precision. Benner, who is now a second-degree black belt, also placed runner-up in the Forms competition, and third in both the Sparring and Combat Sparring categories.

Frederick and Benner were both defending world champions, from the 2016 event.

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"ATA schools from 29 countries were here (Little Rock) for the Tournament of Champions. We had five Helena folks qualify for Worlds," Frederick wrote in a Facebook message on Sunday night. "The competition for us is over, and we are bringing back some bling. Now we can rest, clean up and go have a steak."

Also placing at the Tournament of Champions for the Fredericks' Gym contingent were Diana Oldham, silver in Weapon Sparring; Brenna Sullivan, silver in Weapons and bronze in Form; and Madison Berg, bronze in Traditional Weapons.

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