The World Karate Championships took place over four days in June in the city of Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia.
The Martial Arts Centre had four of its members representing Karate England. The criteria for being chosen for Karate England is based on results achieved at ‘major’ tournaments held over the previous 12 months.
Because of the timetable and some semi finals and finals taking place on the last day, the athletes could not afford to relax if they made the latter stages of their events.
Our English Champions, Evie Higgon, Paige Mellor and Bryony Smith all performed brilliantly and reached the latter stages of their events.
Another of our members who trains with our squad for competition purposes, Paul Herbert from Kent, was coached to a gold medal in the veterans kumite (fighting) by The Martial Arts Centre’s chief instructor and England coach David Wilson. Paul won his gold after four hard fought rounds having not competed for 14 years.
Evie Higgon and Paige Mellor teamed up with Connie Antoshko from U.K.A. federation to represent England in the team Kata having won the England Championships in April.
In an event that consisted of close scoring they finished eighth in the world which was a marvellous achievement.
The three girls then were joined by Ruby Wood to make up the England Cadet Kumite team and were quite simply fantastic!
They fought their way to the final of the team Sanbon event where each person fights an opponent from the opposing team. After four hard fought rounds an excellent silver medal was achieved in an exciting final.
In the team rotation event, where fighters from both sides fight each other, again three very hard fought rounds before the final where the young ladies came up against the USA in what proved to be one of the most exciting finals of the day and after several very close fights, England were triumphant. CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD!!!
Bryony Smith, having only reached 18 shortly before the tournament fought in the plus eighteen category and missed out on a guaranteed medal by ½ a point. A small disappointment for our England champion but not to be deterred, Bryony competed in Kata and reached the final that was held on the last day.
As Bryony had been concentrating on her fighting leading up to this event, it showed her quality by reaching the final stages and she ended up with a well deserved Bronze medal.
The Martial Arts Centre can now boast;
4 World Champions
3 Silver medallist
1 Bronze medallist
This does not even include their several England Champions.
The hard training and excellent attitude and dedication of the squad truly paid off. All of the girls have been selected for the European championships taking place in Denmark later this year – well done!
Chief instructor and England coach David Wilson says “What the girls have achieved is fantastic, but they have worked extremely hard, not only practising in the lessons but attending extra training and of course to qualify for selection, travelling all over the country. I am very proud of them and they bring pride to the local area”.