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EKF European Karate Championships Juniors, Cadets & U21 Zürich, Switzerland, February 6-8, 2015
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EKF European Karate Championships Juniors, Cadets & U21 Zürich, Switzerland, February 6-8, 2015

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

Thank you to all the staff that attended this Championships Davin Pack, Paul Newby, Sensei Donovan OBE, John Gardiner, Mo Surdhar our Medical officer the 2 chaperones Tracy Easton and Debbie Sell and Finally to our HOD Paul Harris. Once again thank you to Blitz for sponsoring the squad it is very much appreciated. Congratulations to those that medaled at these championships Kieran Nunkoo, Aimee Sell and Mitchell Thorpe. The next big event for the Juniors will be the Junior World Championships which take place in Indonesia in November 2015.

Kata Summary – Zurich – Sensei Donovan OBE
After arriving in Switzerland on Tuesday after an easy flight but could not get into our rooms till 2 o’clock so after putting our cases in storage for a couple of hours, the HOD Paul Harris had all the competitors introduce themselves as it was a big Squad.

The HOD managed to get a conference room in the main Hotel as it had been difficult to get a training venue.

The first day of the Championships started with Kata first and it began with the Cadet category 14-15 years. Luke Easton was up first but lost 4-1 against Slovakia in his opening round, Luke had another chance in repecharge but a split in the referees vote of 3-2 put the Ukrainian through.
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Next was the female cadet event which saw Michaela Webber have a bye in the first round then in the 2nd round she faced Russia winning 5-0, unfortunately Michaela then lost the 3rd round to Spain 5-0 but there was no repechage

Next was the Junior Category 16-17 years, starting with Alice Hylton, Alice lost to Germany in a close match 3-2, the German then lost so again no repecharge. Kieran Nunkoo then took to the mat winning against Denmark 5-0 in his first round, then 4-1 against Belarus, he then went on to meet the home nation favourite from Switzerland and in a split decision Kieran Won 3-2. This took Kieran into the Semi finals where he faced Serbia where he narrowly took the win 3-2 to gain a place in the final against Turkey. Unfortunately for Kieran his Turkish opponent proved too strong with Kieran losing 4-1 but, winning the squads first medal – SILVER.

Finally it was the turn of the U21 participants with Navin Patel representing in this event. Navin won 3-2 against Montenegro and then won his second round 5-0 against Romania. In the 3rd round Navin’s opponent was from Croatia a 3-2 split in the flags denied Navin of participating further.

Lastly the female U21 event began with Aimee Sell taking part in her 5th Junior Europeans. Aimee won her first round convincingly against Denmark 5-0, Aimees 2nd round was against Ukraine where she won 4-1, Aimee then lost in a split decision to Slovakia 3-2. As the Slovakian went through to the final Aimee was now in the repechage rounds where she had to face Sweden and won 3-2 to take her to the Bronze medal round. Aimee then faced her Turkish opponent to win 3-2 and take England’s second medal for the team - BRONZE

I would like to thank John Gardiner acting as an assistant Coach as at one time we had 3 people on the mat at the same time.

I predicted we would get 2 medals and maybe with a good draw 4 medals, the two we got I only wish they could have been gold.

The 2nd day of the championships we had Team Kata and I must say the male and female draw was not ideal.

First the male kata team lost to France 5-0, then France beat Spain 3-2 then lost to Turkey 3-2 so no repecharge.

The female team lost to Spain 5-0 in their opening round but Spain then went on to beat Turkey and France bringing the team back in the Repêchage but lost to Turkey in their opening repecharge round.

Day 6
Unfortunately no medals today from the kata teams or individual kumite but some good performances, for many this was their first time at a Junior Euro Championships and they can build on what they have seen and done. Sam Day placed highest today just missing out on the Bronze medal to place 5th at his first championships. The squad stayed to watch the opening ceremony and of course the finals of the junior individual kumite and junior Kata. Tomorrow is the final day of competition with our 18-20 year old athletes taking to the mat. Good luck everyone.
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Day 5
Sam day – male Jnr -55kg
Lost first round 0-9 to the eventual win from Turkey , grabbed his second chance with both hands in repechage winning the first round 3-0 to Macedonia , next beating Russia 2-0 only to lose for bronze against Slovakia, showed great sprit unlucky to just miss out on the bronze !

Alex Jones- male Jnr -61kg
Won first round 3-0 against Norway , lost 2nd round 0-1 to Macedonia

Ryan Luke – male Jnr -68kg
Won his 1st round 2-0 against Norway , got beat next round 0-2 by Holland, who got to the final And pulled Ryan back in . He lost 1st round of rep 2-3 to Croatia

Terry brigdale- male Jnr -76kg
Won his 1st round after his opponent from Greece could carry on and live with his strength and power .Wasn’t quite enough to take him though the 2nd round

Bruce Luke – male Jnr +76kg
Lost 1st round 0-3 to France fought well but just off the mark

Katie dalzell – female Jnr -48kg
Lost 1st round to kos nerves got the better of her , didn’t preform to her potential!

Fran hardcastle – female Jnr -53kg
Won his first round 2-0 against Iceland but lost the 2nd to Bosnia and Herzegovina 0-1 . Who made it to final ! But unfortunately lose in repechage 0-3 to Switzerland

Nikkisha Bailey-female Jnr -59kg
Won 1st very comfortable 8-0 against Wales , was winning 2nd round until a lapse of concentration got scored on with a head kick losing 2-3 to Macedonia!

Danielle kirby – female Jnr +59kg
wining her 1st round 4-2 against Russia, but losing 2nd round 0-4 to Holland first time at Europeans good performance!

Amelia Harvey – female U21-68kg
A close match just losing to the semi-finalist 3-4 from Switzerland , well prepared but a disappointing result !

Alfie Powell – male U21 -60kg
The youngest person in all the u21 division, just turning 18 on the Friday before , showed nerves at the start of the fight losing 2-4 to Azerbaijan!

Perry mayers -male U21 -67kg
Losing 0-7 to Azerbaijan 1st round showed his inexperience in international competition, he knows the work that has to be done !

Joe kellaway – male U21 -75kg
A good win in the 1st round against Ukraine, but losing 2nd in a close fight 6-7 to Bosnia and Herzegovina who ended up with the bronze medal!

Jamaal otto – U21 -84kg
Drawing his first round fight after time but losing 0-5 on flags against Portugal, Who then went on to win bronze medal !

    Kumite round up on first day of competition. – D Pack

Clayton Johnson – male cadet -52kg
Lose first round 0-1 to Germany
His first time out representative of the EKF national squad , shows great penitential in the future if he takes away his experience from these championships and works hard !

Georgina Lawson – female cadet -54kg
Won first round 5-3 against Poland shows great sprint and determination to come back from behind 2nd round lost to Ukraine 3-6 was drawing until got hit kick on the bell was in control up until that point !

Jordan Clarkson -female cadet+54kg
Won her first round after going behind from a head kick 5-3 pulled it back with single techniques to win the match Next round she faced Greece who was a great deal larger in size so struggled to score a point and ended losing the fight 0-1

Mitchell Thorpe – cadet -63kg
By far the most outstanding performance of the day losing in the final to Turkey.
Having five rounds to get to the final smashing Azerbaijan 9-1 in the first round. Next was Scotland who he took out 3-1 followed by beating Ireland 4-1. Next was Russia but, he had control of every part , picking him off at will for a 8-1 win
Semi- final was a hard match against a tough opponent from France, a close contest with Mitchell winning 4-2 who all ways looked in control !
Hope the rest of the squad take this performance as the benchmark It can be done if you believe!!!!

Day 4 – First Day of competition

What a great way to start a championships with the squad winning 2 silvers and a bronze. First medal of the day a Bronze was won by Aimee Sell U21 Kata who has medalled at all age groups in the Junior Europeans. This was followed with Kieran Nunkoo gaining a place in the final of the 16-17 yrs kata against Turkey and winning a superb silver. Lastly was Mitchell Thorpe a bronze medal winner from Portugal 2014 went one further to win a silver kumite medal in the -63kgs. A promising start to an exciting championships – coach’s full reports to follow

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Day 3

After breakfast the squad walked to the HQ hotel to catch the coach to the main training area. They shared the venue with the team from Azerbaijan for 2 hours. This was the last session before the competition so it was a very light session for both kata and kumite. The HOD went to registration and checked that everyone was in the correct events, collected the squads cards and all was done by 9.30am

The rest of the day was the squads own time and in the evening everyone ate once again at the hotel. All the preparation is now over and the squad are ready to take on the best in Europe with all the individual kata events Senior, Junior and cadet starting the competition in the morning followed by the Cadet kumite. Good Luck everyone.

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Day 2

The squad had an early start, meeting for breakfast at 7am. 2 sessions were arranged for the squad, one in the morning, which was a very light session, then after stocking up on further supplies the afternoon session started at 3pm. The squad had a different venue to train in during the afternoon which was at the HQ hotel which is fortunately, only a 2 minute walk from our hotel. Again the coach’s kept the sessions light over the 2 hours. Other teams have been arriving during the day and we have the Czech, Belgium, Welsh and Spanish national teams staying with us. Tomorrow is registration day and whilst the Head of Delegation registers the athletes at the HQ hotel the coach’s are taking the squad for their final preparation. The squad is in a buoyant mood and are eager to start the competition.

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Junior European Championships Zurich, Switzerland 2015

Day 1

Everyone arrived at Heathrow T5 on time for the early flight to Zurich.  After a relatively short flight we headed to our hotel which is located in the Business Park, where the Head of Delegation, Paul Harris spoke briefly to the squad regarding the usual protocols.  While waiting for the rooms to be  made ready the squad then walked to the nearest shopping center to stock up on supplies for the next day.  Once back at the hotel after checking in it was arranged for the squad to do some light training with their respective coach’s which lasted 1.5hrs.  After this, the squad had their evening meal together at the hotel.  Although very cold and snowy in Zurich the squad seem very happy and relaxed.  Tomorrow they will spend some time training, again keeping it light but focused in readiness for the first day of competition on Friday.  The Swiss are hoping to bring the event to everyone via live stream copy the  link for live stream into browser http://karate2015.eu/en/watch-the-live-stream/

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