KSI European Karate Championships 2011 Medal Haul
After months of intensive training with the Kent Karate Development squad run by instructors Chris and Katie Simpson, seven members of the Kimura Shukokai Karate club based in Kingswood near Maidstone, took part in the European Championships last week. Whilst all competitors had some previous success in National tournaments this was the first time they had competed at an International level for England.
On the first day of the competition the junior fighting and kata (forms) events took place as well as the adult team and individual kata. In the girls event Christine Bordean (12), a pupil at Swadelands School in Lenham won bronze medals in both her fighting and kata events. In the boys event Jack Cutler (13) and Adam Axford (12) both fought through several qualifying rounds to reach the final where they faced each other. Jack proved to be the stronger on the day and took the gold medal ahead of Adam who took silver. Jack, who has been training with the club since it started in 2005 and was its first junior black belt, also took silver in the boy's kata competition. Club instructor Chris Simpson said, "We are very proud of Jack's achievement and we are sure that he has a great future in the sport side karate whilst, at the same time retaining the true spirit of the martial art". Elle Osborne (15) and Samantha Riddell (16) both performed well in their
individual events but narrowly missed out on the medals.
On the second day of the competition it was the turn of the adults to try and keep up the standard set by the cadets. In the team events Katie Simpson led the Ladies fighting and kata teams to silver and bronze medals respectively. The Ladies fighting team beat the current World Champions Portugal in the semi-finals with Katie beating the current World individual champion and then drew with Switzerland in the final only to lose in a sudden death extra fight. In the individual events Katie took bronze in the Ladies fighting and silver in the Ladies kata events.
In the veterans lightweight-fighting division Chris Simpson was the only England representative and he fought well in the qualifying rounds to reach his first international final where he faced a much younger and tough Portuguese opponent. At the end of normal time the scores were all square but Chris lost out in the sudden death extra time period thus taking the silver medal.
The competitors are grateful to the Kent County Playing Fields Association and Kent Trust for Youth Sport for their support.
The overall performance of the club's England representatives were excellent and proved that the Kent Karate Development squad system that has been in operation over the last 18 months works. The squad will reform in September with the aim of competing in the World Championships to be held in New York in 2012. As is so many non-Olympic sports funding for training and competition costs are almost non-existent particularly in 2012 with the Olympics being held in this country. Students of these less mainstream sports are totally dedicated to their training both within the dojo and outside on runs in all weathers. If anyone is prepared to assist in sponsoring this team would they please contact Chris Simpson on 07801 639052 or visit the clubs website at www.kentkarate.co.uk.