EKF National Championships 2013

Sunday 21st April saw 2 students in Francesca Hardcastle and Sophie Santillo represent Khalsa Champions at the English National Championships held annually at the Sheffield Ponds Forge. First up in her weight category Francesca Hardcastle who had a very tough opponent first round. Fran was down 0-2 to a good Uechi- Ryu fighter but managed to pull it back 3-2 with seven seconds to go. All that was need in the dying seconds, was to hold our point but our opponent attacked well to level the score 3-3. It went on flags to our opponent and this time it went against us causing an upset first round!!

Next up was Sophie Santillo who came into the comp with a torn hand ligament. Sophie being a Sophie didn't let this stop her. Sophie went up against a lively first opponent, but Sophie's legs as usual helped Sophie gain the win 7-1. At this point Sophie was in a lot of pain and really shouldn't have carried on but was determined to. The second round Sophie again brought her legs into play and took the win comfortably 8-0. The final was against a tough opponent who took the early lead 1-0. Sophie then was forced to decide to fight or pull out after she hit the floor twisting her ankle. This meant Sophie was really in a tough fight sustaining and entering with injuries and a point down! Sophie managed to regain composure knick the two points needed and hold on to the win Gold and her seventh English title!!! Well done Soph!! Sophie was entered for Open however Sensei with drew her, due to injuries.

Next up was Fran in the Open weight category and we had the same opponent first round. Fran was very nervous and as the fight went on Fran looked increasing nervous and just couldn't dominate the fight. The fight ended 2-2 and we won on flags but again very close. Moving on to the next round Fran fought much better and dominated the fight and the win 7-1 to take her into the finals. The final was close again as we met a taller fighter with long reach, however we Fran managed to pick her opponent and the win 2-0. Fran's first Gold of the day!!

Sensei Sat commented: "This was a very tough day at the office!!! however I am very happy with the fact both girls still came back with the coveted National Title!!! For Sophie this was about experience and determination and for Fran this was her first lost in over a year on home grounds and a test to see her attitude in dealing with a loss!! Both girls delivered and for that I am very proud of them!! Thanks must go out to the team, club, parents volunteers and YMCA for all there support!! Without this we could not continue to move forward. Also a big thank you to Steve Groom for helping and advise and Dean and Kuda and Terry from Uechi for there support"

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