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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 5 - Competition Day 2

A new dawn, a new day, renewed expectations.

Natalie Williams undoubtedly England's finest was out on the tatami first for England vs Ukraine in the -61 category. Natalie initiated all exchanges with the first score being one point each. It was evident that the Ukrainian was on the defensive but she managed to sneak a counter, stay ahead and win the fight 1-0. Natalie was frustrated but hopeful of a repercharge opportunity but the Ukranian went out in the quarterfinal.

Siobhan Hayes, Coach Newby's protégé was next on the mats and was quickly into her stride getting the better of Uzbekhistan during a number of head and body exchanges. Siobhan won 3-1 and faced Chile in the 2nd round. Siobhan was razor sharp taking advantage of every opportunity and making openings when necessary to win 5-1.The Finnish girl from the start of the third round was out to steal the fight in an effort to avoid Siobhan's longer reach and eventually nicked a point as Siobhan pursued her putting England out 1-0. Repercharge was not an option when the Finnish girl lost in later rounds.

The afternoon saw Jordan Thomas line up in the -67kg category. Our current European champion was revved up and ready to go. He needed to be. His first round match was against the formidable Rolle of France. These two are so evenly matched it was accepted that the winner would probably go all the way to the final. After a tentative start Rolle got the best of a punching exchange. Jordan got after him but Rolle just kept the edge on exchanges before he scored an exquisite Jodan mawashi beating Jordan 6-0. Nevertheless as predicted the Frenchman stormed through to the final giving Jordan an opportunity to show his class and this he did in classic "old school" fashion. His Japanese opponent in the first repercharge fight was pressured and made to fight on Jordan's terms with Jordan benefitting from the flags at the end of 3 minutes. Jordan's Serbian opponent was broken with lancing kizami's and gyak's. His despair was evident as Jordan won 6- 3 and moved onto a match against Tunisia. Jordan was well in his stride and continued where he left off scoring lightning quick head and body punches to get himself into the Bronze medal final on Saturday with a scintillating 9-1 win.

Chris Harris was out next in -60 kg. His opponent from Hong Kong was spirited and matched Chris's excellent movement. The match was fairly even with points going back and forth. As the buzzer went Chris found himself out of the World Championships by the narrowest margin 3-2.

The late afternoon saw the eagerly anticipated team kata start with John Gardiner, Chris Karwacinski and Rob Bingham representing England. Coach Ady Gray had the team focussed and ready for their first match against Austria, Kankusho was the kata of choice and the team executed it well. Their Austrian opponents performed Gojushihosho and it looked too close to call. The decision went 4-1 to the Austrians and England were out with the Austrians losing in the next round crushing repercharge hopes.

The Ladies Team of Aimee Sell, Mellissa Williamson and Natalie Payne were our last representatives for the day. They performed Chatanyara Against Belarus and we're winners at 3-2. The next round was Turkey who performed Chatanayara to England's Supa Empi. The flags went 5-0 to Turkey and England were out with Turkey losing in the later rounds. Great effort for a young team that bodes well for the future.

The day ended with a hope of a medal with Jordan Thomas and a debrief from the national coaches and Chief referee, Dale Gamble.

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