Karate Wales success at the WUKF European Championships

KARATE WALES SUCCESS AT THE  WUKF EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS!

After a successful IKU European Championships in Santarem, Portugal, Karate Wales were again in action only a week later as a delegation including 26 athletes, a referee, five coaches, the President, Vice-President and two Directors made the trip to the WUKF European Championships for Children, Cadets & Juniors, which were held in Liege, Belgium, from the 3rd-7th June.

The delegation arrived at local hotels on the Wednesday, as the squad were scheduled to register on Thursday morning. 

This is usually a long process for countries with big squads, but the organising team did a great job and the registration, passport check and weigh-ins went like clockwork.

There were various seminars to attend for both officials and athletes, a favourite among the youngsters being the legendary Christophe Pinna’s Kumite session which WUKF provide free of charge to the athletes.

All Coaches attended a seminar with various guests. 

The Romanian National Coach in particular had excellent ideas which gave the Karate Wales Coaches led by Head Coach Gareth Reynolds plenty of food for thought.

The competition got underway in an understated way, with the preliminary rounds of all Kumite team events, at 2pm on Thursday afternoon.

Karate Wales' Girls mini-cadets team of Megan Chambers, Trinity Hutchison and Mia Collins (Krisiny Hutchison was reserve) had a tough first round, narrowly losing to Romania.

Meanwhile the boys Mini-cadets team of Josh Davies, Harrison Williams and Josh Dwyer (Jacob Denham was reserve) did better, beating the English FEKO team, before losing to the eventual winners Belarus. Nevertheless securing Wales’ first medals of the Championships, bronzes.

Friday started with a bang as the stadium was buzzing from the beginning, with a thousand children from Countries around Europe awaiting their big chance on the tatami!

Young Griff Hughes from Vale Karate is a huge talent in Kata and after the preliminary round his performance of Jion put him in second place. 

Unfortunately his final Kata; Bassai Dai was not quite so well received, and he slipped to Bronze medal position, still a fantastic result at his International debut!

Griff’s rival in the Welsh Karate League, Sumaya Evans from Cardiff, is more experienced, with WUKF medals already won in Verona last year. Sumaya did equally as well in the Girls event, also giving excellent performances to take another Bronze medal for Karate Wales.

As the kata events came to an end, the kumite began, and again Karate Wales were in the thick of the action!

the Cogan siblings, Connery and Keana Hutchinson, always do well at WUKF events and again didn’t disappoint, each winning bronze medals.

Morgan Harvey from the stable of champions of the Ken Bu Kan earned a great bronze medal before Christopher Slack from Vale Karate and Kata medalist Sumaya Evans both reached their finals! 

Chris stepped up to a new level, beaten narrowly in the final to take a fantastic silver, before Sumaya became Karate Wales' latest WUKF European champion!

The Vale Karate trio of newly crowned Kumite Silver medalist Chris, Harrison Williams and Josh Dwyer reached the final of the Mini-Cadets Team Kata in fourth position.

Chris stepped up from the 11-12 year-old ‘Childrens’ categories to the 13-14 years 'Mini-cadets’ as the rules allow this.

In the final they pulled off their favourite Kata Kanku Sho, in great style, earning joint top marks of the day, to move up to third and take the bronze medals.

Saturday saw the older children and the Under 21’s in action.

Both Ken Bu Kan entries in the Mini-cadet Wado kata category made the final and to the delight of the Welsh Supporters, Josh Davies earned third place and Jacob first! Another Karate Wales WUKF European champion!

Aaliyah Wiley, just outside the medals in Kata, fought with real purpose, and gave the Welsh supporters plenty to cheer about in landing the silver medal!

Dale Jenkins is no stranger to big events and his experience helped in taking a bronze medal.

Leah Copeland was Wales’ final fighter in action, and although  improving all the time, came up against the Romanian Number one in her semi-final and unable to get past her, was forced to settle for the bronze medal, to bring the curtain down on another successful International venture for Karate Wales.


SQUAD:

TRINITY HUTCHINSON

CONNERY HUTCHINSON

SUMAYA EVANS

KEANA HUTCHINSON

JACK GEORGE

CHAHID EVANS

AALIYAH WILEY

JOSH DWYER

HARRISON WILLIAMS

EMMA SQUIRE

LEAH COPELAND

CHRISTOPHER SLACK

ALEXANDRA SLACK

MORGAN HARVEY

GRIFF HUGHES

JACOB DENHAM

CHELSEA LANGA

CHIARA BAKER

JOSH DAVIES

JACOB CONDON

DIONNE JONES

MIA COLLINS

TYLER ROWLAND

MEGAN CHAMBERS

DALE JENKINS

KRISINY HUTCHINSON


Medalists

Kata BRONZE Griff Hughes

Kata BRONZE Sumaya Evans

Kumite BRONZE Connery Hutchinson

Kumite BRONZE Morgan Harvey

Kumite BRONZE Keana Hutchinson

Kata BRONZE Josh Davies

Kumite BRONZE Dale Jenkins

Kumite BRONZE Leah Copeland

Boys team Kumite BRONZE

(Harrison Williams, Josh Dwyer, Josh Davies, Jacob Denham)

Boys Kata team BRONZE

(Harrison Williams, Josh Dwyer, Christopher Slack


Chris Slack Kumite SILVER

Aaliyah Wiley Kumite SILVER


Sumaya Evans Kumite GOLD

Jacob Denham Kata GOLD










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