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43rd Junior, Cadet & 8th U21 European Championships, Limassol, Cyprus, 5-7 Februrary 2016
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The Team Katas were the first events today and there was major frustration as both Male and Female teams lost out in the narrowest of margins. The Male team of Connor, Chris and Stephen faced Germany i their opening round and both teams performed Jion. The 5 judges went 3-2 to Germany. The German team went to the pool final where they eventually lost meaning there was no repechage call for England.
It was a similar story for the Female team of Aimee, Kate and Rebecca. Facing Turkey in their opening round they too lost out 3-2 after both teams performed Bassai-Dai . The Turkish team somehow made the pool final where they lost to Germany but went on themselves to gain a bronze. You have to roll with the decisions even if they seem rather bizarre.
Following the disappointment of the team Kata events, there was to be even more disappointments as the Female U21's came out to fight.
Rio Smith competed in the over 60kg event and faced Turkey in the 1st round. Unfortunately the Turkish competitor beat Rio to every punch and win the fight 8-0.The Turkish fighter made the pool final but lost out entering repechage herself.
Alice Goudie competed in the under 60kg event and was another 1st round casualty. Alice faced a Danish fighter who was sharp and fast. Alice just didn't fight to her usual standard today and it was the Danish girls who was scoring the punches. Alice eventually lost 3-0. Like Rio's fighter the Dane made the pool final before losing.
Carla Burkitt competed in the U53kg event. Carla had a 1st round bye before facing a Bosnian fighter in the 2nd round. Unfortunately Carla suffered a 4-1 defeat. The Bosnian made the final this time which allowed Carla to compete for bronze via repechage. The 1st round of repechage pitted Carla against France but for Carla this was to be her only repechage round as the French fighter won 2-1 in a close contest.
The Male U21's soon came out and were determined do better.
Ryan Lambert competed in the over 78kg and faced some big opponents. His 1st round saw a tough and bruising encounter with Macedonia. Ryan won through 7-2 after scoring a few points and receiving a few extra points from contact warnings. The 2nd round saw Ryan face Scotland but this time Ryan lost out 3-1 after extra time after the scores were initially tied at 1-1. Unfortunately the Scot failed to progress to the final in a familiar story.
Alex Sell fought in the U78kg event and looked in good form as he won his opening round fight 4-2 against his Danish opponent. The 2nd round saw Alex face Estonia and a tight contest saw Alex through with a well earned 1-0 win. In the 3rd round Alex faced host nation Serbia. Initially going 2 points down Alex fought back to level the scores as the fight then swung both ways. The end saw a series of warnings go both ways and the last one went against Alex which saw him just lose out 6-5. Very unlucky. The Serbian then lost the next round which was the pool final.
Gavin Bailey fought in the U68kg event and like Alex suffered defeat in the 3rd round. Initially beating Romania 4-1 in his opening round he then went on to draw 0-0 with his Belarus opponent in the 2nd round. The fight went into extra time with Gavin scoring 2 points to go through. The 3rd round saw Gavin face an Italian opponent and once again the fight went into extra time following a tied 3-3 score line. There was no score at the end and the dreaded judges decision was used. 2-2 but with the ref opting for the Italian Gavin narrowly lost out.
The Italian won the pool final which saw Gavin handed a repechage lifeline. Unfortunately Gavin couldn't quite grasp it as he lost 2-1 to a Slovenian opponent.
The U21s came so close, they fought with heart and soul but it was not to be. This has certainly been a championships full of highs and lows but again the Juniors have medalled at four Europeans in succession now. Our Thanks to John DeBono as head of delegation who has been great sorting out lots problems from delayed passengers to hospital visits. To Mohindar, the squads Doctor for all his help and advice and looking after the squads health. Thanks to Jane DeBono & Debbie Sell who acted as chaperones for the squad. Thanks lastly to National Coach Wayne Otto OBE and his Assistants Natalie Williams and Jonathan Mottram. All the hard work of the National Coaches working with the squad is paying off the squad is looking stronger and better with each championships under Wayne's Management. Next stop the Senior Worlds.
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