Austrian Open Championship Report: June 2012

Friday 15th June
saw our only junior competitor in Sophie Santillo flying to Austria Salzburg to compete in the Austrian Open Championship with Sensei Sat.

Both Sensei and Sophie travelled late afternoon to catch a flight from Stansted Airport to Austria. On arrival the weather was beautiful hitting a high of 28 degree’s centigrade. The hotel was 10 min drive from the airport and 10 min drive to the sports centre, and was absolutely fantastic, well equipped and very convenient.

Saturday 16th the day of the competition.
Sophie was on around 4.45pm and had a group of 9 competitors. Sophie along with 7 other members went through with a bye to the quarter finals. Sophie’s first opponent was from Switzerland and was very fast taking the first point very quickly. Sophie quickly levelled the score and then took the lead with another 2 gyaks,a kick and another gyak and the win 7-1 sending Sophie through to Semi’s.

Sophie’s next opponent was disqualified, after a 10 min debate with the head judge for not making the weight., Sophie was forced to come off the mats and change colour and was sent straight to the final.

The final was going to be hard as Sophie was facing the same opponent she met in the finals at Koblenz, Germany. Our opponent was definitely out for revenge and scored two early gyak’s. Sophie retaliated with a gyak back, but our opponent scored two more gyaks and the lead of 1-4. Sophie brought her legs in play and levelled the score followed by a gyak to the head and took the lead 5-4. With 9 seconds to Sophie was given a warning for jogai after being pushed off the mat which went straight to han-soku-chui (3 warnings) although the board said two warnings. With 5 seconds to go Sophie again on the defence was forced off the mat, given a second jogai and han-soku disqualification and having to settle for Silver!

Sensei Sat commented “This weekend was a big learning curve for both Sophie and myself. Both Sophie and I were too involved in the position we were in at that moment, and we didn’t fully understand how serious the new 10 second rule was, which cost us the Gold.

On a positive note, we knew this weekend would be hard and had a set game plan which worked very well. It was good to see Sophie putting into practise techniques we had practised in the week.

Although very disappointed over the result we cannot complain, and have to put it down to inexperience of the new rules, something that we won’t forget. All in all it was a fantastic weekend and Sophie having won the last 4 internationals and reaching the final in this comp its good to know, we gave the title away rather than losing the fight, and average 6 points per round!!

I would like to thank Sensei Junior and Sensei Zinou for coaching, Freyor and Henrik for lovely evening and all the Luxembourg and SwissTeam for there support !!!! “

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