USA Open Championships September 18th 2011

US Open September 2011On Sunday 18th Sept saw Sophie Santillo the only Khalsa Competitor competing in the USA Open Championships, in Dudley.

Sophie entered both -59 and +59 kg, considering she is -53 this was always going to be a tough challenge fighting bigger, stronger and taller girls than herself.

First up Sophie was asked to enter a team from another club and unfortunately however hard she tried did not get the win, but this did not make her despondent, if anything made her more motivated to win, nevertheless she gained a silver medal for her efforts.

In her -59 category Sophie fought very strong and went all out in the quarter finals to beat her Scottish National opponent 4-4, taking her into overtime. After a tough opening start Sophie stepped up a gear winning the fight 5-1.
Sophie’s semi finals saw Sophie against an Irish National fighter and after cagey start Sophie done enough to take her through to the final beating her opponent 1-0. In the finals Sophie stepped up again winning decisively 11-3 taking Gold in her category.

Sophie undeterred with being a lot lighter and smaller entered the +59 kg and met an experienced and good England international in her opening round. The fight was always going to be tough and Sophie had a lot of respect for her opponent but managed to take the win 4-1. After taking a bye in the semi’s Sophie reached the final against another England A squad member and again another very strong opponent. This time Sophie was very focused on winning another gold and scored a fantastic roundhouse to the head and taking the win 4-1, Making it the second gold of the day.

Sensei Sat commented “Having travelled to Dudley by herself and back and with no coach, entering higher weight divisions and coming back with 3 medals is an amazing accomplishment. It is easy to forget she is only 16 and to have the commitment, drive and enthusiasm to continue to win, can only bode well for Sophie’s future Karate career. There is still a lot to do to get Sophie to the position we would like but everything is going in the right direction. A HUGE HUGE well done for your commitment, and hard work from everybody from the club, instructors, parents, supporters and family!! “

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