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England Karate Squad

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43rd Junior, Cadet & 8th U21 European Championships, Limassol, Cyprus, 5-7 Februrary 2016
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43rd Junior, Cadet & 8th U21 European Championships, Limassol, Cyprus, 5-7 Februrary 2016

Portugal 2014

49th European Senior Karate Championships Tampere, Finland May 1st - 4th 2014

The below are reports and results posted from Finland.

As well as this official EKF website you will also find information on the official EKF Facebook page - click here.

Day 3 – Finals Day

Day three was individual finals day and England had two athletes competing, Alton Brown in the male -75kg bronze medal match and Jordan Thomas male -67kg final.

First up was Alton Brown with a real opportunity to win England’s first medal of the championships, competing against DONA of France. Although Dona is a well decorated athlete he has not been in great form in recent years which presented realistic expectations of a medal and up against the ‘in form’ Alton Brown of England. The bout itself proved to be a disappointing one and in a largely inactive bout Alton was unable to claw back the two point deficit and proceeded to lose 0-8 on category two warnings. Unable to recapture the drive and performance of day one we had settle for fifth place overall. The flip side being, if this was the 2015 European Championships, Alton would have automatically qualified for a place in the 2015 European Olympics being held in Baku Azerbaijan next year. In addition Alton has gained important WKF ranking points of which will improve his World ranking status, so therefore a great effort over all.

The last individual match of the championships and England’s ‘Golden’ opportunity now rested on the young shoulders of Jordan Thomas. On day one Jordan was in fantastic form scoring a total of 16 points only conceding two against and although this is not a guarantee of success it could be argued that it is sound performance indicator and we were confident in his scoring abilities. Jordan was up against the competitor from Azerbaijan, ALIYEV NIYAZI and as expected proved to be a very tactical and close bout. Jordan scored first with a counter punch found it difficult to hold onto the lead and his opponent drew back the match 1-1. In line with the rules in the event of a draw, throughout the match Jordan was better tactically and committed to more attacks therefore won the bout (and the title) on a 3-2 decision.

‘Congratulations to Jordan Thomas’, the English Karate Federations first Senior European Champion and England’s second over 14 year span. His name now resides in the record books next to names of former Senior European Champions such as, Leon Walters, Wayne Otto, Mick Sailsman, Mervyn Etienne, Molly Samuel-Laporte, Jillian Toney, Willie Thomas (phew, to mention but a few) and now Jordan Thomas -67kg Senior European Champion 2014.

Summary

Major championships always bring sorrow with joy, elation and despair, both physical and emotional pain, but the excitement and adrenalin of competing against Europe’s finest keeps us coming back for more. Whether we won, lost or drew all the EKF competitors did their country proud and has acted with distinction both on and off the tatami. Note on the medal table England came joint sixth and that it does not say a name of a category but simply ‘England’, thus meaning we all share in this in this success and indeed are a part of it.

Final statistics; 1 x 9th place, 2 x 7th place, 1 x 5th place, and 1 x 1st place. Therefore five of the nine individual entrants finished in the top nine in Europe of which can only mean one thing. England is on the rise. The message is a simple one, ENGLAND – ‘YES WE CAN’

Thank you to the EKF staff that have worked to support the squad both prior and during the event.

  • Assistant coaches Davin Pack & Paul Newby
  • Squad physiotherapist Mohinder Surdhar Phd
  • Head of Delegation/EKF Admin Debbie Sell
  • EKF Board members
  • Sponsors BLITZ Martial Arts Supplies

As national coach it has been a privilege to represent the EKF at major championships and shoulder the responsibility and trust placed in me to nurture and develop England finest. THANK YOU

Willie Thomas National Coach

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2nd May - Day 2 of Competition

Day 2

The second day started with both male and female Kata events England’s male team athletes were Robert Bingham, John Gardiner and Chris Karwacinski. The female team were Natalie Payne, Aimee Sell and Melissa Williamson.

The men faced Portugal in the first round and unfortunately lost 0-5, Portugal then went against Spain but lost out to Spain 4-1 in the semi-final and therefore no repo-charge for the guys. The female team suffered a similar fate and put up a spirited performance against the Belarus team narrowly losing 3-2 on flags. Belarus lost 5-0 in the next round to the eventual finalists Italy. The standard of European Karate is rising all the time and both teams have learnt from their losses and keen to get back to training and come back stronger and more determined.

Next up was the female kumite team namely Amelia Harvey, Carla Burkitt, Natalie Williams and Kate Karwacinski. From the outset there was an air of confidence around this team and given the individual pedigree of the athlete’s expectations were high.

England were drawn against the Ukraine in the first round and were confident of contesting the bout well knowing if they win their chances of a medal would increase. Natalie Williams was up first and took up and an early 2 point lead. As she edged closer to victory she got caught with uro maewashi geri and ran out of time to recoup the point thus losing 3-2. Kate was up next against the former European Champion and although worked hard was unable to hold off the attacks from the Ukraine and lost 2-0 to provide Ukraine with the 2-0 overall.

There are areas for improvement in this promising team and through training and development England can achieve these new benchmarks for performance

W Thomas National Coach

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1st May - Day 1 of Competition

Female individual Kata

Emma Lucraft got off to a great start beating the competitor from Denmark 5-0 and in the second round lost 0-5 against the highly decorated Italian athlete who proved to be in formidable form all day and went on to make the finals. This brought Emma back into the repo-charge where she lost to Turkey in her first repo-charge bout.

Male individual Kata

John Gardiner Stepped in to represent England with a positive attitude and was eager to perform on the European stage. He competed against the competitor from Montenegro and narrowly lost two flags to three. The Montenegro athlete lost 4-1 to France who then himself lost to the Italian 3-2 in the next round, thus dashing any hopes of a repo-charge opportunity John. The benchmark has been clearly drawn for John who has only been inspired to train harder.

Female Individual umite

Carla Burkitt (-55kg) put up a spirited battle against WARLING from Luxemburg dropping and early point in the bout. She pulled it back 1-1 but in the dying seconds dropped another to lose 1-2. Warling was in great form and went on to make the finals bring Carla back into the repo-charge. Undeterred, Carla was drawn against MEYLNK from the Ukraine and lost 5-0. A disappointed Carla will have an opportunity to compete in the ladies team and another medal opportunity.

Natalie Williams (-61Kg) was in great form beating STELAND SONJA (LUX) 5-0 in her first bout and then ABIYEVA FARIDA (AZE) 6-0 in her second. Natalie fought a controlled fight in the quarter finals drawing the match 1-1 and lost on the tightest of margins 2-3 on flags. An astounded Natalie felt sure to progress to the semi-finals and thus a medal winning opportunity but her hopes were dashed when the athlete MAKSIMOVIC JELENA (MNE)lost and hopes of a repo-charge quickly faded.

Kate Kawacinski (-68kg) was in a positive mind-set approaching the fight and was up against the U21 European Silver medallist ZUANON CHIARA (ITA) in the first round. Kate was challenging her opponent throughout the bout but was unable to break through losing 0-2. The Italian went on to lose to the eventual finalist in the following round leaving Kate the team event to focus on.

Male Kumite

Chris Harris (-60kg) made a steady start beating MCLOUGHLIN AARON(IRL)in the first round 3-0. Now safely through the first round Chris continued his campaign against a talented competitor CHARALAMPIDIS IOANNIS (GRE)beating him by an impressive 6-0. Now in the quarter finals Chris senses a real chance of success but came up against LIDEGAARD CASPER (DEN) who was in formidable form beating Chris 5-0 and went on to gain a place in the final. Chris had one fight to gain a place in the bronze medal final and lost 3-0 to HEIMANN ALEXANDER (GER)who competes on Saturday for the bronze medal. Chris finished 7th place overall.

Jordan Thomas (-67kg) came of age this day. He produced an outstanding performance to reach the finals of the Championships on Saturday. Jordan had a bye in the first round and had to ensure he was properly warmed up to meet in GIEGLER RICARDO (GER)his first bout. Jordan won 8-0 scoring with a variety of punching and kicking techniques. Jordan then beat the world no.3 POKORNY STEFANfrom Austria (4-1) who beat the favoured French competitor GARIN MARVIN in the previous round.

The semi-final Jordan confirmed his dominance by beating the Hungarian athlete TADISSI YVES4-1 to become the first male English Karate Federation male competitor to medal at a European Championships. A level headed Jordan is quietly preparing himself for a very real opportunity of becoming a European Champion.

Alton Brown (-75kg) produced a fantastic performance wining his first two bouts. Round one saw him convincingly beat AL-WANDI AHMED (SWE)3-1 and in round two with another sound performance beat VIRAG ANDRASfrom Hungary 2-0. In round three he came up against current World Champion, Busa from Italy and in a well contested fight lost 0-2. Busa went on to make the finals giving Alton another medal winning opportunity.

Alton was drawn against MORENO_PAZ FERNANDOfrom Spain and beat him is a very tight match 2-1 to gain a place in the bronze medal fight off against DONA of France on Saturday

Ryan Jay (-84kg) competed against the capable LUCIC DANILO from Montenegro in the first round and disappointing lost 2-0 without a chance to get his ‘motor running’. Ryan remarked that ‘I did not fight to my best’, but he remains positive for the future and keen to build on his experiences here at the Championships.W

W Thomas National Coach

30th April 2014

The squad again went to the training venue with their coach's after breakfast to continue their preparations for these championships. Wednesday was registration day which went very smoothly followed by a meeting of congress with the other European Federations. The congress was addressed by Mr Espinos the WKF and EKF President. There are some exciting new things in the pipeline to come from the WKF to which Congress was informed about these included the dates and qualification criteria for the new European Olympic Games of which, karate is a participant but only via membership of the WKF. There are to be some changes to the Junior/Cadet U21 event with additional18 -21 categories. There is also some new video technology which is to be used at these championships which will also include, video analysis, talent ID and performance other exciting new features for coach's of National Federations.

The squad returned by lunch time to the hotel, relaxed and waited in anticipation for the draws.

We have some fighters on today including Kate Karwacinski who met up with the squad late last night and the Individual kata events. We hope to bring you updates via Facebook and Twitter depending on Wi-Fi connection.

Good luck to the squad and coach's for today.

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28-29th April 2014

The squad met at Heathrow T3 Monday afternoon for the first leg of the journey to Tampere, Finland. We landed in Stockholm for our connecting flight where we all squeezed on what must be one of the smallest planes ever, to continue the journey to Finland. We arrived at the hotel about 1am and once rooms were sorted it was agreed to meet up for breakfast at 8.30-9am as training was to start at 10am.

Tuesday morning and the squad were taken to the training session which is next door to the competition venue they were fortunate to have the whole training area to themselves, so this allowed the squad to have plenty of room on the mats. As usual kata and kumite split and the squad started training in their respective teams or as individuals. The training was very light with the kata squads going through their chosen katas and bunkai. The kumite were fine tuning some techniques and scenarios. The squad finished around 1pm and returned to the hotel where they were briefed on what was happening over the next few days. The squad are now relaxing before dinner. Some of the squad will return to the training venue tomorrow whilst registration begins at the HQ Hotel. The squad are in good spirits and looking forward to the competition starting.

Photos by Aether Productions and W Thomas

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Saturday 19.5.14 Pre-Training Senior Squad

The Kata and Kumite squad met up at Alex Harts Dojo in Waltham Abbey at the weekend. The squad going to the Senior Europeans were also joined by other England 'A' squad member to take part in this training session.

Both Kata and Kumite took part in a conditioning session and although demanding it was enjoyable. The groups were then split to complete their relative specific training with sessions led by Coach's Willie Thomas, Johnathan Mottram and Davin Pack.

Spirits are high with an air of excitement amoungst the squad. With this in mind there is still work to be done before the big event.

The squad will be meeting up during the week to continue their training with their respective coach's and then meet up for a final session on Saturday 26/5/14 again at Alex Harts Dojo.

W Thomas National Kumite Coach

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Competition Day 3

The last day of competition and hopes were high for our Under 21s.

This was Jamaal Otto’s final Junior Europeans and he came out fighting well against MKD in his opening round, it was a good fight with Jamaal winning 4-3 to take him through to the 2nd round.
Jamaal then faced his opponent from Croatia again Jamaal fought hard but it wasn’t to be his day with his opponent winning  5-1, Jamaal has had a good Junior career winning European a silver and bronze medal as a Junior athlete, he now moves on to the seniors and wish him all the best.

Katie Dalzell was our only U21 female and she faced Poland  in first round, a hard fight but Poland had the edge winning 3-0. There was no repercharge as Spain beat Poland in the next round.

Joe Kellaway won his first fight against  Bosnia 4-2.  Joe then went on to face Italy in the 2nd round but loses 0-3.  Joe got another chance to fight in repercharge as the Italian made it to the final.  He now had to face Kosovo, Joe was extremely unlucky to lose 2-0.

Sam Day had  Poland in the first round Poland but lost 2-1.  His opponent then lost the 2nd round so no repercharge.

Alfie Powell had Portugal in opening round but the Portuguese got the points winning 3-0.  Portugal then lost in the next round so no repercharge for Alfie.

Although these are not the results the squad wanted, many have a year now to go over things, work harder and improve where necessary in time for the next Junior Europeans.  The  squad worked hard for these championships and sacrificed a lot to attend them as do their families.  The standard in karate  is at such a high level now its harder than ever to win those elusive medals.  The squad will learn from this event and hopefully progress to better things.  For some it was their last Junior Europeans and will now only compete in Senior events and we wish them well in their senior careers.

The squad will be travelling home today and some will already planning and preparing themselves for the Senior Europeans which are to be held in France, May 2016, so onwards and upwards.

Thank you to Blitz Sport  and Elida for sponsoring the squads kits.

Thank you to all the Coach’s Willie Thomas, Paul Newby, Ticky Donovan OBE and Reece Taylor.  To our medical officer David Inman for looking after the squad.  Thank you to John Debono for ensuring all went smoothly and our chaperones Jane Debono and Debbie Sell.

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Competion Day 2 – Kumite

Unfortunately day 2 didn’t go the way the fighters wanted.  Emelye O’Brien won her first fight against Ukraine 1-0, she then went into her second fight against Austria the fight was 1-1 but the decision by the referees went to Austria

Jordan Clarkson fought Russia in her 1st round but lost 3-1.  She came back in repercharge beating Norway 4-3, all fired up she then faced Luxembourg but her opponent was too quick winning the match 3-1 ending Jordans time on the tatami.

Mitchell Thorpe hoping to improve on his silver medal in Swizerland won his first round 3-1 against Denmark. Mitchell then fought Poland  in the 2nd  round and but  lost 0-1. There was no repercharge as Poland lost the following round.
This was Chloe Lydons first time representing England, she fought a tough Serbian in her opening round, with the Serbian winning 9-3 a valiant effort for your first time Chloe. Chloe’s opponent didn’t progress any further ending Chloes chances of progression in repercharge.

This was Jamie Gridleys 2nd time representing England, his opening match was a close one but Italy took the win  1-3.  Jamie’s opponent went on to win the pool final so and had a shot at repercharge .Jamie now faced  Poland but lost 2-1.

Cuba Parris faced France in his first round again a close match with Cuba just missing out, final score 4-3 to France.  France didn’t progress so there was no repercharge.

Bleu Parris fought Slovenia and had a very convincing  5-2 win, hopes were high for Bleu in the 2nd round against Georgia but a controversial kick which appeared to happen after the time had finished saw Bleu bow out as the referee gave the points for the kick.  His opponent from Georgia lost to Belgium so Bleu was unable to progress any further

Not the best day from the squad but they will take away what they have learned from this competition and work on what needs to improve.

Competition Day 1 – Kata and Kumite

All individual kata categories were on today so the coach’s had their work cut out.  Lauren Fretwell and Johann Santos were up first with Lauren completing 2 rounds and Johann one, this was the first time they had both represented England at European level.  Luke Easton and Alice Hylton were next but were disappointed not to go through the first round and denied repercharge. Finally Chris Karwacinski and Aimee Sell. Chris in his last Junior Europeans did a strong kata but the win was given to his opponent. Chris now moves on to senior events only and wish him well in his Senior career. Aimee Sell in her last Junior event had a first round bye and performed a good kata Supa Empi but she too was denied the win.  Aimee has had a good Junior European and World Career winning a silver and bronze in team kata at European level, 2 individual silvers and a bronze at European level and a World Bronze medal.  Medalling in every age event at Junior level.  Aimee now prepares herself for the Senior events and we wish her well.

Some of the fighters took to the stage today with Charlotte Hope winning her first round on the referees decision to then go on and face a Spanish opponent. Charlotte was unlucky in this round and unfortunately didn’t make repecharge.  Jed Thompson was competing in his first Junior Europeans and was all fired up but his opponent was too strong taking the win 4-0 from him and again no repercharge.  Next was Will Tatham it was always going to be difficult facing an athlete from the home team and lost by the narrowest of margins 0-1.  Unfortunately his opponent didn’t make the rounds so no repercharge for Will.  Lastly was Georgina Lawson she won her first round convincingly taking the win from Norway 4-1 this ensured her place in the next round where she faced Denmark.  Georgina’s opponent from Denmark proved too strong on this occasion winning 4-1.  Denmark progressed allowing Georgina to enter repecharge where she faced Germany, a close fought match but the German snatched away Georginas chances of going further.  Some good performances from the squad and a lot to be learnt from today’s competition. Tomorrow we have the juniors competing fingers crossed for some medals.

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Day 2

All the preparation has now been completed, the final training session was held today while the Head of Delegation John DeBono ensured everyone was registered correctly.

The squad are looking sharp, focused and prepared and tomorrow they get their chance to shine.  There has been a change in the schedule with the all the male kata categories taking place first, starting with the cadets at 9am Cypriot time check here for times https://www.sportdata.org/wkf/ausschreibungen/69/Timetable-List.pdf

Good luck to all our competitors don’t forget there is a live stream so you can watch all the action as it happens (1) English Karate Federation Ltd – Governing Body




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Day 1.

After an early breakfast the whole squad trained together.  The weather is warm and sunny so training took place outside, the squad spent 2 hours training then had some downtime. A briefing was held by the kumite coachs and the kata had an extra session in the afternoon.  During the day we saw teams from, Russia, Poland, Turkey and Azerbaijan arriving and with tomorrow being  registration day, the atmosphere is starting to build.  The squad have one final training session tomorrow afternoon before the competition begins.



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Well after a delay of 40 minutes at Heathrow the squad departed for Cyprus.  The flight was good and we finally arrived at the hotel about 7:30pm. After checking into their rooms we all then met for dinner in the main restaurant. The coach’s and Head Of Delegation John Debono spoke to the squad and everyone seemed happy and ready to get on with the job ahead.  The squad will be training on Wednesday and Thursday with Kata kicking off the competition on Friday.

 

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