Vale Karate take six gold medals at the UK Open

 

Once again Karate Wales' independence was a huge benefit as a sixteen-strong Vale Karate Squad attended the UK Open in Leigh, Near Manchester on November 11th.

This was another tournament, that until the recent independence that Karate Wales brings, was not possible, due to the draconian WKF statute 21.9 which still strangles much of the Karate World.

Vale Karate were once again welcomed to another friendly, busy competition.

Vale had a strong presence in the under 10 Kata: Chiara Baker, Chris Slack, Jack George, Ben Harris and Maisie Harrhy. After the first round of points were added, both Chiara and Chris were in the top three and after another final Kata, they remained there with Chiara crowned champion and Chris in 3rd place.

The 10-12 years advanced Kata had an even stronger Vale presence with Daniel Page, Max Baker, Josh Dwyer, Harrison Williams, Owain Harrhy, Emma Squire and Alex Slack all representing Welsh interests.

When scores were counted after the first round of what was a sizeable category, Josh, Alex, Daniel, Harrison and Emma all made the top eight! Both Alex and Emma were in the medal hunt and it was a very close run thing.

Alex performed an excellent Kata to lay down the gauntlet, unfortunately, Emma made a slight error to hand Alex the winners medal.

Emma showed the attitude of a champion, however, to deliver possibly her best ever performance in the 3rd place match, to earn the Bronze.

Leah Copeland at 18 has been successfully attending major events for a decade, and her class in the Ladies Kata event was evident. She effortlessly outscored her opponents to take Vale Karate's third Kata title of the day.

The Kumite began with The under 10 events which brought gold medals to Vale Karate's Karate England Open Champions Chris and Maisie, two young champions who seem to thrive on the big occasions!

Chris, Jack and Ben looked to be the best in the Boys division, and a Vale a 1-2-3 looked likely, but a mix-up in the organisation left Ben and Jack fighting for the Bronze. A battle royal ensued before Jack took the medal.

Vale Karate have three excellent 11-year-old fighters in Harrison, Owain and Josh. Competing constantly against each other in the WKL has meant that they have not perhaps benefitted from the many competitions that the Welsh Karate League provides, as have the rest of the squad.

Their potential remains undiminished however and in Leigh it was Owain's turn in the spotlight as he brought the Vale supporters to their feet with some brave and skillfully executed performances, taking the gold medal in style.

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