Great Results at the Karate England Open for the Karate Wales Squad

 

A twenty-one strong Karate Wales squad, accompanied by coaches Stephen Wellington and Rob Copeland travelled to Loughborough on Sunday 30th September, to compete at the prestigious Karate England Open.

        

The Shotokan members are on the left and the WADO team members are in the right photo.

The Welsh Squad were pleased to be met by some of the biggest names in Karate on arrival, including Vic Charles MBE, Bob Poynton and Abdu Shaher.

Nathan Davies with the legendary Vic Charles MBE


Bradley Christoforato has been in stunning form all season at the Welsh Karate League, unbeaten in the Under 16 Kata event. That kind of preparation put him in pole position for the challenge that the Karate England Open offered.

After the first round of the Boys Shotokan Kata, he was point five ahead of his nearest challenger, he solidified his position in the final to finish a full One Point ahead of his rivals to earn Karate Wales their first gold medal!

Brad, double Kata Gold medalist


Like Brad, Kloe Christoforato 12, has been among Britain's best young Kata competitors over the past half a dozen years.

In Loughborough, Kloe had to contend with competitors up to fifteen years old, but undeterred she was in possession of a slight lead after the first round, which she converted into Wales' second gold medal.

The strength in depth of the Kata squad was highlighted, when all the scores were added, to find that Kloe's team-mates Emma Squire 12 and 13-year-old Kathryn Collis had also claimed Podium places!

Karate Wales 1, 2 and 3 in girls Kata


Strong performances from Brad and Kloe in the Open Kata events ensured two more gold medals were added to the Welsh total. Emma again joined Kloe on the podium, winning her second silver medal.

Andrew Kanias, unbeaten in the Welsh Karate League all season, recently earned two WUKO European titles in Veterans categories when he demonstrated expertise in both the Shotokan and Shito-ryu styles, and the class he brings to the tatami was again in evidence as he beat all comers to earn yet another two gold medals, winning the Mens Shotoryu and Open Veterans categories.

Andrew Kanias Shitoryu Kata Champion


Heidi Christoforato, in the Ladies 35 years and above category, failed by the narrowest of margins, to match the gold medals earned by her children Brad and Kloe, settling for a well deserved silver medal.

The Kata events were rounded off with another title winning performance, as Sophie Foyle took the ladies Wado-Ryu Kata gold medal with performances that her rivals couldn't match.

Sophie Foyle, ladies WADO Kata champion


Nathan Davies and Ryan Waters, more known for their Kumite talents, showed their Kata ability with medal winning performances, with Nathan taking a bronze, and Ryan going one better, taking a Kata silver.

With the Kata medals decided, it was time for the competitors to put on their mitts for the Kumite events.

Nine year-old team-mates Christopher Slack and Maisie Harrhy have gained much experience in the Welsh Karate League, with Christopher heading the Under 10 Boys rankings. Maisie, although not at the top of the ranking this season, was a winner at the most recent event.

They came through their categories in style, adding Karate England Open gold medals to their growing collections.

Harrison Williams, Josh Dwyer and Owain Harrhy battled to a bronze medal in the Under 12 Boys team event.

Sophie Foyle looked to be heading for another medal to add to her Kata gold, however a heavy kick put paid to her chances as she was disqualified.

Kata medalists Nathan and Ryan demonstrated the all round ability in this National squad as they added Kumite medals! Each winning silver medals. Shaun Foyle joined Ryan on the podium with a well won bronze medal.

Luke Howard was the last squad member to perform and almost took the Welsh squad's gold medal tally into double figures, failing at the final hurdle, earning a creditable silver.

A final total of nine gold medals, seven silvers and four bronzes announced to the Karate World that Karate Wales have arrived and are a force to be reckoned with.

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