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2017 X WKF Junior, Cadet &U21 Championships, October 25-29, Santa Cruz de Tenerife
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2017 X WKF Junior, Cadet &U21 Championships, October 25-29, Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Report Day 4 - Competition Day 1

Wednesday morning heralds the first day of the 22nd World Karate Championships. The stadium is incredible, three tiers of seating, 10000 seats, 107 countries, 1200 athletes, 5 days of competition, 3 days sold out. Be under no illusion, this is the WORLD KARATE CHAMPIONSHIPS.

Kata begins the day with our representatives Aimee Sell, current World Junior Bronze Medallist and John Gardiner competing in the individual event for the first time.

John was first out for England soundly beating India 5 - 0 with a strong Empi. Next round was against Iraq. John performed Gojushiodai losing 3 -2, after a slight wobble. It's all about margins of error at this level and John will take a lot away from this experience.

Aimee came out against San Marino trouncing her opponent 5-0 with an excellent Annan. Next round saw her again show the difference in class beating Croatia 4-1 with Supa empi. Her third round opponent was an accomplished Bulgarian opponent, Aimee's execution of Chatanyara was exemplary and yielded a 5-0 win. This win took Aimee into the quarter finals where she faced a formidable Japanese opponent who had not dropped a flag on route so far. Unfortunately Japan maintained their momentum with an emphatic 5-0 win in spite of Aimee's excellent execution of Unsu. Nevertheless, all was not lost as Japan won through to the finals putting Ms Sell into the repercharge. Aimee faced Mexico for a chance to compete for Bronze. Unfortunately it was a bridge too far on this occasion with Aimee losing 4-1 performing Nipaipo.
Great performance and a fantastic boost for the Team kata.

The afternoon began with one of our seasoned campaigners Alton Brown competing in his new category -84 kg. Alton in his inimitable style immediately maximised his greatest attributes, speed and timing. His opponent from CuraƧao was peppered with lightning fast gyaku zukis and kizami's resulting in a 4-0 win and a confident stride onto his next opponent from Albania.

Again the weight and height differential was quite stark. Alton using his experience tried to avoid clinches and used his movement and kicking speed to great effect scoring with a beautiful backleg mawashi geri. Nevertheless he picked up a number of warnings for contact by his refusal to be intimidated.

His third round Egyptian opponent was from the start wary of Alton's speed and used his height to throw arrow kizami's at Alton who tried to get his distance. When he did, a beautiful timed gyaku zuki was scored. The Albanian countered with of course a kizami off the line followed immediately by scoring a feint kizami, front leg mawashi geri earning 3 points. Alton worked to get the points back but to no avail. At the buzzer he was out, disappointed and then dejected when the Egyptian lost in the semi final, crushing his hopes of the repercharge

Next out was the first of the ladies Amelia Harvey competing in the +68 category. One of England's new "young guns" Amelia came out firing, skilfully scoring on her Swiss opponent (current European Champion) with 2 laser like Jodan gyak's for a 2-0 win to make an impressive debut at her first Senior World's. Amelia upped her pace and intensity in the next round against her Polish opponent scoring with fluid double Jodan punches and counter Jodan and Chudan gyaku winning 6-0. A potentially difficult fight was nullified early by precision and power punching.

The next round was altogether a different ball game. Amelia faced a Japanese opponent with impeccable distance, timing and speed on both her punching attacks and counters. Amelia worked hard with Coach Willie Thomas trying to negotiate her way past the impressive Japanese armoury, but to no avail. Amelia lost 5-0 but had made an excellent impression on the world stage. Amelia then faced further disappointment when the Japanese competitor surprisingly lost in the next round on flags meaning no repercharge.

Next out was Kate Karwacinski the current Junior European Medallist. Kate faced a Chinese opponent who did not let her get into her stride. Kate went a point down and ended up chasing the fight losing 2-1.

Last out was Ryan Jay, one of England's top juniors competing at his first Senior World Championships. From the first exchange Ryan showed his maturity out timing his committed Dominican opponent 2-0. Iran was Ryan's second round fight and this proved to be a tough match. The Iranian's experience at this level became clear as he picked up points from every little opportunity he had. Ryan as always fought to the buzzer but lost 5-0 and learnt a lot.

The day finished uncharacteristically late with no medals for England but some excellent performances that will unquestionably inspire those competing tomorrow.

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