The thing about Eugenio Castrillo, ‘Tarko’ and taekwondo was a coincidence. However, after more than twenty years of professional career, today he is the only international referee from the Basque Country in the combat category and has just been recognized within the national Taekwondo awards, granted by the Spanish Federation last Friday, as “Best national referee and who has contributed the most in the poomsae and technique section” this year. “It is an award for a job of many years because I am the director of arbitration of combat techniques of the Biscayan and Basque Federation, I have been in this for twenty-odd years,” he admits.
He started practicing martial art because he was taking his 5-year-old daughter to The Masters de Basauri club. So much spending dead time watching how the others climbed on the tatami and kicked and punched, she one day decided to follow them. «It was 1998 and I was 34 years old, before I had practiced karate, so I signed up for the class before the one that the competitors trained, but I improved and I finished with them. So much going to encourage them at the championships I began to value the possibility of refereeing, “he recalls to ELCORREO.
He was already at a difficult age to compete, but he was in top shape because he also came from the world of trail racing. «With 27 years in taekwondo you are older, but wherever you looked I had champions from Spain, Europe and the World by my side, and whether you like it or not, it influences. I competed within the club, I hit with my teammates and with my teacher Juan, Olympic runner-up and world champion. Illustrious people », he points out.
The path as a judge hasn’t been easy either because in order for him to have a black belt he had to train for four years and then grow link by link. Last November in Paris he obtained international accreditation. Only seven Spanish professionals went to the French capital. “It is difficult because the World Federation requires you to pass an online course of five hours a day, you have to validate the national Danes because they have their own qualification and to that you have to study all the regulations and training in English,” he recalls.
With his achievement, a claim for taekwondo from Basauritarra is fulfilled because The Masters, the cradle of elite athletes, has always longed to make a name for himself in arbitration and stand out with an international judge. Once passed, the training that only twenty people in Spain have, from now on, will whistle all over the world. «There are many years and everything has been possible thanks to my teachers, The Masters is my second family», he gets excited. Now when he goes to the Spanish Open on April 13, he will be able to referee all categories. This past weekend in the absolute national team he already had an international ID.