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44th European Championships Sofia Bulgaria 14-19 February 2017
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First up was Chris Karwacinski competing in the Kata events. Chris made a blistering start to his campaign as he faced his Turkish opponent in the opening round. Chris performed Empi with his opponent performing Jion and Chris took a decisive win 5 flags to 0. The next round semi-final saw Chris go head-to-head with an Azerbaijan opponent. Chris once again won the round 5-0 with his Gojushiho-Sho Kata out performed his opponents Jion Kata. Chris is now in the final which takes place approximately 1:00pm UK time.
Callum Holmes was extremely unlucky in the U52kg category in his opening round fight against Greece. The fight was drawn 3-3 at the end of the round and went into 1 minute of extra time. A really close match saw Callum just lose out 3-2 in the last few seconds. Unlucky but a good fight.
In the U57kg category, Aaron Tester fought like a Tiger against his Turkish opponent winning a tough match 5-4. Aaron then faced a feisty opponent from Azerbaijan in the semi-final match. Aaron was on top form as he saw out a 2-0 win to put him into this afternoons finals. Well done.
Joe Kellaway fought in the U63kg category and faced a Turkish opponent in his opening round. Unfortunately Joe lost his fight 4-1. Joe did make the repechage rounds facing a Bosnian opponent. The Bosnian fighter scored first but Joe pulled it back to level the score. The Bosnian then scored again taking the lead once more. Joe fought hard to pull it back once more but his Gyakuzuki punches weren't being scored. It was a good experience for Joe on his first outing on the squad.
Jamaal Otto fought in the Over 70kg category and looked in fine form as he stormed to a 7-1 win over his Turkish opponent. Two quick Jodan kicks to the head and a Gyakuzuki punch saw Jamaal dominate. Jamaal's 2nd round semi-final was a lost closer as the final score finished in a tie with the scores 4-4. The fight went to extra time and Jamaal opened up to eventually overcome his Azerbaijani opponent 4-0. Jamaal's final was also held later during the day joining Chris and Aaron to fly the flag.
The England squad had three representatives going for gold which would more than double yesterday's medal count.
Chris faced a Turkish opponent in the Male Kata final. Chris performed Kanku-Sho but his opponent's Chatanyara Kushanku proved too strong leaving Chris to collect a well deserved silver.
Aaron was up next in the Male U57kg final. Aaron's first international was against a very strong Turkish opponent. The Turkish fighter scored 2 Gyakuzuki punches and a Jodan head kick with Aaron scoring a single point, unfortunately not enough to win as the final finished 5-1 to the Turkish fighter. Still was a super silver for Aaron and bags of experience.
Last up was Jamaal in the O70kg final. The final, well, fight of the Day! Jamaal scored two Jodan kicks and two Gyakuzuki punches against his Spanish opponent to win 8-0 with 1 minute 17 seconds still left on the clock. Jamaal finished off the finals with style.
The final medal count for England was 2 Gold, 2 Silver and 1 Bronze medal - a fabulous five!
Well with the competition over the squad went back to the hotel extremely pleased with their results. For confirmation, England finished 2nd in the medal table behind hosts Turkey and ahead of Spain. After dinner the squad met with other sports teams for an impromptu arm wrestling competition - all friendly of course. Tomorrow the squad are attending the closing ceremony followed by an evening show with Turkish dancers.
To round off the evenings precedings, the Sports Directorate of Konya organised a DJ and soft refreshments in the evening for all sports participants, the adults were also invited.
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