Commonwealths 2008

Khalsa Karate had an excellent weekend at the Commonwealth Karate Championships with our small squad winning one gold and three silver medals.

Our two senior entrants Harry Cannon and Paul Abel began our medal tally on the Saturday in the Senior kumite events. Harry was in the Male Cadet Under 70 kg where a huge entry meant he had to get through 5 rounds to reach the final. Although he dominated his first round, his sweeps were not scored and the fight ended in a 1-1 draw. Fortunately Harry was quick to grab the first point in extra time. Now he had warmed up he made short shrift of his opponent in the second round, winning 2-0. His third round also ended in a 2-0 win with some excellent punches scoring in the last few seconds. This took Harry to the semi finals where he again secured a 2-0 win although the scoreboard only managed to record one of his points! A tight final ended in a 1-1 draw when Harry was very unlucky to lose out in extra time but taking away a very laudable silver medal. Considering he had not trained much in the last few weeks due to a damaged thumb, this was a really good result.

Paul Abel continued with his good run of results in the Senior Under 75kg category. His first round was a walkover when the fight was stopped 8-0, with Paul completely outclassing his opponent. He then went on to win the second round easily 5-0. In the semis there was a much closer fight but Paul kept his cool and won 1-0 for a place in the final against Alton Brown. This proved to be the best fight of the contest with Alton coming out the winner 2-0 and Paul a well earned silver medal.

Sunday was the Junior competition and Khalsa was represented by Jack and Rachel Newey in the kata and Jack and Sophie Santillo in kumite.

In the kata both Rachel and Jack Newey had huge categories of fifty entrants. Unfortunately for some reason the normal competition rules had been abandoned and entrants could do the same kata every round! This resulted in most competitors performing the same kata over and over again (usually super en pi) and made it difficult for our two to decide which of their katas to choose. Jack at 13 was one of the youngest in his Boys 13 – 15 group and was not realistically in with a chance of a medal. One of the people in his category had a beard! He performed an excellent bassai dai in the opening round earning all three flags but unfortunately was then drawn against the eventual silver medallist whose anan beat Jack's very good unshu 2-1. With no repercharge this meant Jack could go no further.

Rachel was in the Girls 13 – 15 years and put in some outstanding performances, beating high quality opponents from India, Scotland and two from South Africa to reach the final. There she performed chatanyara and was well on her way to the gold medal but a loss of balance in the jump ended her chances and she had to settle for silver – although to her credit she continued with the kata and managed to earn a flag from one of the judges.

Sophie Santillo was for once in a category of her own age (Girls 12 – 13 years – under 50kg) and maintained her unbeaten record with great guts. In a high scoring first round she won 12-6 and then the next 2-0. She then had to wait for over half an hour while her competition was suspended to allow a girl to crossover to the Team kata event. Eventually it resumed and Sophie won the semi final 2-0. There was then a nail biting final which ended in a 7-7 draw with Sophie taking a very hard punch to the face. As we've come to expect Sophie never gives up and she won the first point in extra time to take the gold and add yet another title to her credit.

Jack's bad luck continued in the kumite when he had to leave before the end of the competition as they were running 5 hours late and the squad had to go to the airport for the flight home! His category of Boys under 45kgs had so many entries that there were two pools running simultaneously. Jack had been fighting really well and had reached the semi finals on his mat but unfortunately we ran out of time and he had to withdraw.

Altogether the squad's performances were a great credit to the Club and there was a fantastic team spirit and lots of support from the families who came along.

  • WKF
  • EKF
  • English Karate Federation
  • Thames Community Foundation
  • Design Gurus
  • MCE
  • J.Lefevre
  • YMCA
  • Sport Kingston
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