Karate Wales Success in Portugal


A 14 strong Karate Wales squad travelled to Santarem in Portugal for the International Karate Union's European Championships for Seniors & Veterans which took place from Thursday 25th to Sunday  28th June.

The four day event also featured the 'IKU European Games for Children' and the 'IKU European Cup' for cadets.

After Thursday’s registration and various meetings, the competition got in full swing on Friday morning as the children's 'Games' began.

As the Karate Wales had competitors attending both these IKU Championships and the WUKF European Championships a week later, only five Welsh youngsters contended the 'Games'

Callum Mays, though not yet an experienced competitor, has proven himself full of potential in the Welsh Karate League over the last couple of season's. 

His best performance outside the WKL came when he won a gold medal at the prestigious AMA International Open in Sheffield earlier this year. 
He won a silver Kumite medal in Portugal, further enhancing his CV!

Callum’s Wattstown Karate Club team-mate Sion Barnett, a newcomer to big events, fought bravely and also showed great potential with fine performances to also take a silver Kumite medal!

Sasha Hughes put in skilled and brave performances in both her Kata and Kumite categories, but couldn't find podium spots on this occasion.

Lauren Gallagher from Pencoed, another successful all-rounder in the WKL looked to be on her way to a medal in Kata, but one mistake inevitably makes earning a medal impossible and a slight imbalance during her kata took her chances away. 

Olivia Hutton however was not to be denied and her performance earned her a bronze medal!

To the delight of the Welsh supporters, Lauren and Sasha progressed to meet in the final of the Kumite where Lauren took gold to become IKU European Games Champion, with Olivia taking the silver to add to her earlier bronze. 

Karate Wales had a solitary entrant in the 'Cadet Cup' on the Friday; Steffan Rees.

The experience Steffan gains in the regular high quality competition of the WKL where he constantly battles with several other excellent athletes has seen rapid and impressive improvements. 

However, at the biggest and highest quality event he has yet experienced, he found a new level and fighting brilliantly and bringing the crowd to their feet, Steffan took the title of IKU European Cadet Cup Champion!

The 'Championships' for seniors (18-35) and veterans (35+) got underway later on Friday with the Kata events, and after the preliminaries of the Ladies event, Wales had two in the hunt for medals with Katie entering Saturday's final in third place and Leah in 5th.  
Leah pulled out the stops on Saturday, but with too much to do to earn a medal, she claimed fourth place, 0.1 point behind the bronze medalist from Italy. 

Katie finished 5th.

Wales' Ladies (Leah, Amy Davis and Katie) went out at the semi final stage to Italy.

In the individual Kumite, Leah earned a bronze medal, as did Ryan Williams.

With only three competitors in the men's veterans category Wayne Thomas was fortunate to get a bye through to the final which he lost. Not winning a single fight was awarded a silver medal.

Luke Howard reached the final of the Mens -70Kg Sanbon.

Luke, Wales' double IKU World champion, although starting slowly, then quickly found top gear to treat the supporters to world class karate to add the IKU European to his two World titles.

IKU European Games for Children
GOLD Lauren Gallagher 
SILVER Olivia Hutton
SILVER Callum Mays
SILVER Sion Barnett
BRONZE Olivia Hutton

IKU European Cup for Cadets
GOLD Steffan Rees

IKU European Championships for Seniors & Veterans
GOLD Luke Howard
BRONZE Leah Copeland
BRONZE Ryan Williams
BRONZE Leah Copeland, Amy Davis, Katie Rees
BRONZE Barrie Rees, Wayne Thomas, Hugh Gallagher




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