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23rd World Senior Championships. Linz, Austria. 25-30 October 2016
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The below are reports and results posted from Finland.
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Day three was individual finals day and England had two athletes competing, Alton Brown in the male -75kg bronze medal match and Jordan Thomas male -67kg final.
First up was Alton Brown with a real opportunity to win England’s first medal of the championships, competing against DONA of France. Although Dona is a well decorated athlete he has not been in great form in recent years which presented realistic expectations of a medal and up against the ‘in form’ Alton Brown of England. The bout itself proved to be a disappointing one and in a largely inactive bout Alton was unable to claw back the two point deficit and proceeded to lose 0-8 on category two warnings. Unable to recapture the drive and performance of day one we had settle for fifth place overall. The flip side being, if this was the 2015 European Championships, Alton would have automatically qualified for a place in the 2015 European Olympics being held in Baku Azerbaijan next year. In addition Alton has gained important WKF ranking points of which will improve his World ranking status, so therefore a great effort over all.
The last individual match of the championships and England’s ‘Golden’ opportunity now rested on the young shoulders of Jordan Thomas. On day one Jordan was in fantastic form scoring a total of 16 points only conceding two against and although this is not a guarantee of success it could be argued that it is sound performance indicator and we were confident in his scoring abilities. Jordan was up against the competitor from Azerbaijan, ALIYEV NIYAZI and as expected proved to be a very tactical and close bout. Jordan scored first with a counter punch found it difficult to hold onto the lead and his opponent drew back the match 1-1. In line with the rules in the event of a draw, throughout the match Jordan was better tactically and committed to more attacks therefore won the bout (and the title) on a 3-2 decision.
‘Congratulations to Jordan Thomas’, the English Karate Federations first Senior European Champion and England’s second over 14 year span. His name now resides in the record books next to names of former Senior European Champions such as, Leon Walters, Wayne Otto, Mick Sailsman, Mervyn Etienne, Molly Samuel-Laporte, Jillian Toney, Willie Thomas (phew, to mention but a few) and now Jordan Thomas -67kg Senior European Champion 2014.
Major championships always bring sorrow with joy, elation and despair, both physical and emotional pain, but the excitement and adrenalin of competing against Europe’s finest keeps us coming back for more. Whether we won, lost or drew all the EKF competitors did their country proud and has acted with distinction both on and off the tatami. Note on the medal table England came joint sixth and that it does not say a name of a category but simply ‘England’, thus meaning we all share in this in this success and indeed are a part of it.
Final statistics; 1 x 9th place, 2 x 7th place, 1 x 5th place, and 1 x 1st place. Therefore five of the nine individual entrants finished in the top nine in Europe of which can only mean one thing. England is on the rise. The message is a simple one, ENGLAND – ‘YES WE CAN’
Thank you to the EKF staff that have worked to support the squad both prior and during the event.
As national coach it has been a privilege to represent the EKF at major championships and shoulder the responsibility and trust placed in me to nurture and develop England finest. THANK YOU
Willie Thomas National Coach
The second day started with both male and female Kata events England’s male team athletes were Robert Bingham, John Gardiner and Chris Karwacinski. The female team were Natalie Payne, Aimee Sell and Melissa Williamson.
The men faced Portugal in the first round and unfortunately lost 0-5, Portugal then went against Spain but lost out to Spain 4-1 in the semi-final and therefore no repo-charge for the guys. The female team suffered a similar fate and put up a spirited performance against the Belarus team narrowly losing 3-2 on flags. Belarus lost 5-0 in the next round to the eventual finalists Italy. The standard of European Karate is rising all the time and both teams have learnt from their losses and keen to get back to training and come back stronger and more determined.
Next up was the female kumite team namely Amelia Harvey, Carla Burkitt, Natalie Williams and Kate Karwacinski. From the outset there was an air of confidence around this team and given the individual pedigree of the athlete’s expectations were high.
England were drawn against the Ukraine in the first round and were confident of contesting the bout well knowing if they win their chances of a medal would increase. Natalie Williams was up first and took up and an early 2 point lead. As she edged closer to victory she got caught with uro maewashi geri and ran out of time to recoup the point thus losing 3-2. Kate was up next against the former European Champion and although worked hard was unable to hold off the attacks from the Ukraine and lost 2-0 to provide Ukraine with the 2-0 overall.
There are areas for improvement in this promising team and through training and development England can achieve these new benchmarks for performance
W Thomas National Coach
Female individual Kata
Emma Lucraft got off to a great start beating the competitor from Denmark 5-0 and in the second round lost 0-5 against the highly decorated Italian athlete who proved to be in formidable form all day and went on to make the finals. This brought Emma back into the repo-charge where she lost to Turkey in her first repo-charge bout.
Male individual Kata
John Gardiner Stepped in to represent England with a positive attitude and was eager to perform on the European stage. He competed against the competitor from Montenegro and narrowly lost two flags to three. The Montenegro athlete lost 4-1 to France who then himself lost to the Italian 3-2 in the next round, thus dashing any hopes of a repo-charge opportunity John. The benchmark has been clearly drawn for John who has only been inspired to train harder.
Female Individual umite
Carla Burkitt (-55kg) put up a spirited battle against WARLING from Luxemburg dropping and early point in the bout. She pulled it back 1-1 but in the dying seconds dropped another to lose 1-2. Warling was in great form and went on to make the finals bring Carla back into the repo-charge. Undeterred, Carla was drawn against MEYLNK from the Ukraine and lost 5-0. A disappointed Carla will have an opportunity to compete in the ladies team and another medal opportunity.
Natalie Williams (-61Kg) was in great form beating STELAND SONJA (LUX) 5-0 in her first bout and then ABIYEVA FARIDA (AZE) 6-0 in her second. Natalie fought a controlled fight in the quarter finals drawing the match 1-1 and lost on the tightest of margins 2-3 on flags. An astounded Natalie felt sure to progress to the semi-finals and thus a medal winning opportunity but her hopes were dashed when the athlete MAKSIMOVIC JELENA (MNE)lost and hopes of a repo-charge quickly faded.
Kate Kawacinski (-68kg) was in a positive mind-set approaching the fight and was up against the U21 European Silver medallist ZUANON CHIARA (ITA) in the first round. Kate was challenging her opponent throughout the bout but was unable to break through losing 0-2. The Italian went on to lose to the eventual finalist in the following round leaving Kate the team event to focus on.
Chris Harris (-60kg) made a steady start beating MCLOUGHLIN AARON(IRL)in the first round 3-0. Now safely through the first round Chris continued his campaign against a talented competitor CHARALAMPIDIS IOANNIS (GRE)beating him by an impressive 6-0. Now in the quarter finals Chris senses a real chance of success but came up against LIDEGAARD CASPER (DEN) who was in formidable form beating Chris 5-0 and went on to gain a place in the final. Chris had one fight to gain a place in the bronze medal final and lost 3-0 to HEIMANN ALEXANDER (GER)who competes on Saturday for the bronze medal. Chris finished 7th place overall.
Jordan Thomas (-67kg) came of age this day. He produced an outstanding performance to reach the finals of the Championships on Saturday. Jordan had a bye in the first round and had to ensure he was properly warmed up to meet in GIEGLER RICARDO (GER)his first bout. Jordan won 8-0 scoring with a variety of punching and kicking techniques. Jordan then beat the world no.3 POKORNY STEFANfrom Austria (4-1) who beat the favoured French competitor GARIN MARVIN in the previous round.
The semi-final Jordan confirmed his dominance by beating the Hungarian athlete TADISSI YVES4-1 to become the first male English Karate Federation male competitor to medal at a European Championships. A level headed Jordan is quietly preparing himself for a very real opportunity of becoming a European Champion.
Alton Brown (-75kg) produced a fantastic performance wining his first two bouts. Round one saw him convincingly beat AL-WANDI AHMED (SWE)3-1 and in round two with another sound performance beat VIRAG ANDRASfrom Hungary 2-0. In round three he came up against current World Champion, Busa from Italy and in a well contested fight lost 0-2. Busa went on to make the finals giving Alton another medal winning opportunity.
Alton was drawn against MORENO_PAZ FERNANDOfrom Spain and beat him is a very tight match 2-1 to gain a place in the bronze medal fight off against DONA of France on Saturday
Ryan Jay (-84kg) competed against the capable LUCIC DANILO from Montenegro in the first round and disappointing lost 2-0 without a chance to get his ‘motor running’. Ryan remarked that ‘I did not fight to my best’, but he remains positive for the future and keen to build on his experiences here at the Championships.W
W Thomas National Coach
The squad again went to the training venue with their coach's after breakfast to continue their preparations for these championships. Wednesday was registration day which went very smoothly followed by a meeting of congress with the other European Federations. The congress was addressed by Mr Espinos the WKF and EKF President. There are some exciting new things in the pipeline to come from the WKF to which Congress was informed about these included the dates and qualification criteria for the new European Olympic Games of which, karate is a participant but only via membership of the WKF. There are to be some changes to the Junior/Cadet U21 event with additional18 -21 categories. There is also some new video technology which is to be used at these championships which will also include, video analysis, talent ID and performance other exciting new features for coach's of National Federations.
The squad returned by lunch time to the hotel, relaxed and waited in anticipation for the draws.
We have some fighters on today including Kate Karwacinski who met up with the squad late last night and the Individual kata events. We hope to bring you updates via Facebook and Twitter depending on Wi-Fi connection.
Good luck to the squad and coach's for today.
The squad met at Heathrow T3 Monday afternoon for the first leg of the journey to Tampere, Finland. We landed in Stockholm for our connecting flight where we all squeezed on what must be one of the smallest planes ever, to continue the journey to Finland. We arrived at the hotel about 1am and once rooms were sorted it was agreed to meet up for breakfast at 8.30-9am as training was to start at 10am.
Tuesday morning and the squad were taken to the training session which is next door to the competition venue they were fortunate to have the whole training area to themselves, so this allowed the squad to have plenty of room on the mats. As usual kata and kumite split and the squad started training in their respective teams or as individuals. The training was very light with the kata squads going through their chosen katas and bunkai. The kumite were fine tuning some techniques and scenarios. The squad finished around 1pm and returned to the hotel where they were briefed on what was happening over the next few days. The squad are now relaxing before dinner. Some of the squad will return to the training venue tomorrow whilst registration begins at the HQ Hotel. The squad are in good spirits and looking forward to the competition starting.
Photos by Aether Productions and W Thomas
The Kata and Kumite squad met up at Alex Harts Dojo in Waltham Abbey at the weekend. The squad going to the Senior Europeans were also joined by other England 'A' squad member to take part in this training session.
Both Kata and Kumite took part in a conditioning session and although demanding it was enjoyable. The groups were then split to complete their relative specific training with sessions led by Coach's Willie Thomas, Johnathan Mottram and Davin Pack.
Spirits are high with an air of excitement amoungst the squad. With this in mind there is still work to be done before the big event.
The squad will be meeting up during the week to continue their training with their respective coach's and then meet up for a final session on Saturday 26/5/14 again at Alex Harts Dojo.
W Thomas National Kumite Coach
Report from Paul Simmons- Head of Delegation
The last day started with a very early start with many of the team having to come from the after party to catch the coach back to Linz airport.
A tired set of athletes left Linz after a campaign which started with the dream of becoming a World champion.
For some it was further away than they would have liked when looking back at this championships for some very close and for one the dream became a reality.
That person not only will go down as one of five men to be individual World Champion for the next two years but also as one if not the outstanding fighter of the championships.
A 8-0 romp in the World Final made England’s Jordan Thomas one of the superstars of our Olympic Sport. ENGLAND and the EKF should be very proud!
Katie Hurry came close and finished 5th in the World. With 2018 hopefully bringing her a World Title. The Kumite teams made good progress towards retuning to the top eschelons of the sport. For the rest of the English athletes the next two years will begin the campaign for a 2018 World Title after a short rest!
Well done to all the coaches and staff for making this the most successful World Senior championship ENGLAND has had for a very longtime. A special mention to the Kumite coach ‘Willie Thomas’ for bringing back the EKF first World Senior Champion.
Also, a well done to Chief referee Dale Gamble and other WKF referees for maintaining or gaining further WKF qualifications.
Other EKF representatives saw EKF President, Mick Billman WKF provide the organising of all Security for the World Championships. Mike Dinsdale (WKF rep at the EKF) as the WKF treasurer for the Championships. Well done to them having key roles on the World Stage.
Other EKF representatives were Board member Billy Brennan in providing commentary on the WKF channel and good to see board member Chris Thompson as a VIP cheering on the team.
Congratulations to David Inman on becoming part of the WKF Medical Commission.
Massive thank you to BLITZ Sport who once again provided the kit for the National Squad.
ENGLAND touched down at Heathrow airport and back to task of moving closer to the top of the World medals table.
As a team in all areas of the Karate World the EKF has a bright future.
From the WKF News center.
Jordan Thomas continues tradition
In a dominating performance in the final bout of Male Kumite -67kg, Jordan Thomas of England put an end to his country’s drought in World Championships after defeating Yves Martial Tadissi of Hungary. The 24-year old followed the footsteps of his father and former World and European champion to continue making history for the sport in his country. The Luton-native who won in 2012 the first European medal for his nation in eight years, put England again in the spotlight of the ancient discipline.
“It is long coming. I have been dreaming about this since I was a boy,” said Thomas, who dedicated this success to his father. “He led the way. He could not be a better role model for me and I have to dedicate it to the hard work he and I did to get this medal.”
“I know my history and I know where I come from. But it is a new generation. English and British Karate are on the rise,” said Thomas
Jordan Thomas Senior World Champsion -67kgs 2016
Report by Willie Thomas Kumite Coach
Saturday 29th October
The Day started with an early rise as Katie Hurry was on at 9-45am.
The team went to the arena with one thing on their mind, winning medals.
Katie Hurry fighting for Bronze and Jordan Thomas for gold.
The warm up area was buzzing and everyone looking for to seeing them fight.
ENG v Slovakia
After her progression from the repo-charge, Katie had one more hurdle to gain a bronze medal at the championships. She was up against a very experienced Slovakian who simply had the edge on the clashes, beating katie to the punch losing out 0-5 in this final bout. Overall a great performance for Katie who could not of done anymore. 5th place in the world is a fantastic achievement and very well done
The team then watched the rest of the fights and then waited for Jordan to turn up from the hotel after resting for the day. Jordan was ready for action!
-67kg World Champion
Jordan was once again outstanding and is simply the best in the World. in addition he also was the best fighter of the championships beating 3 of the top five competitors in his category in the world. If you need a home grown example of how to train, compete, win and conduct ones self on and off the tatami, take note of this exemplary performance by Jordan Thomas. There has only been two 8-0 performances in the history of WKF finals. Jordan is one of them. He has inspired a nation and single handedley breathed life and hope back in to British Karate. Jordan Thomas, we salute you
A great day. In the evening the team celebrated their achievements! It was a long night!
Report on Fridays events
Report by Paul Simmons HOD
The finishing of Day 5 saw Alton Brown having to be taken to hospital with a fractured eye socket from a direct blow to the face from the team event against Montenegro.
Alton took the news very well and will be having an operation tomorrow to fix the fractured part of the orbit.
We wish Alton all the best for the operation.
With part of the staff and team with Alton the rest of the Team finished watching repercharge and then headed back to the hotel for dinner.
Dinner was early today and a welcome visit was paid to Willie Thomas and the ENGLAND Karate team by a English and British Karate legend ‘Mervine Etienne’ 4x World Team Champion. His presence was ironic as Team events were today and we had one of the most successful Karate team athletes from any country present at dinner for the championship de-brief. A great inspiration for both our male and female team members.
Treatment followed for certain athletes and Katie Hurry was off to bed early for her repercharge fight at 9-30am Saturday morning. Jordan Thomas also had an earlier than normal bed time due the early finish of the championship day. Jordan Thomas will be on tomorrow at around 7-30pm.
Katie Hurry getting ready for her final
Kumite Report by Kumite Coach Willie Thomas
Individual and Team Results
+84kg Men’s Kumite
1st round – win Venezuela
A well held and aggressive fight. Brandon held and moved forward to dominate the Venezuelan. With some well timed punches the next round should be very positive.
2-1 lose to Ireland
Lost against domestic opponent. Learn important lessons.
-84kg Men’s Kumite
Round 1 – win 2-0
Jamaal came out with a well thought game plan. Changing distance and feeling the opponent in the first 30 seconds. Jamaal went 1-0 up. A contact from a sweep and punch gave him the upper hand. Finishing with another point to win. 2-0.
Brazil 3-0 lose
Jamaal started well but lost a quick point at start and then his opponent built on lead. Needed to work harder for longer.
Won: Austria 4-0, Brazil 8-0, Portugal 3-2, Morocco 10-5 and Venezuela 1-0
In the final with Hungary on Saturday.
Jordan produced a phenomenal display. Showing all the skills of a champion. We are looking forward to Saturday. The icing on the cake will be becoming WKF World Champion and this would be the 1st EKF World Senior Champion. Following on from being the 1st Senior European Champion.
Lost second round. Win first fight 3-1 Belgium
Lost second 1-0 Croatia
Carla came out with a convincing win 1st round and then came out against a 3x European Champion. Carla lost but performed well. The Croatian lost in the semi-final. This excluded Carla from repercharge.
Both teams lost in the third round.
Men beat Georgia and Croatia then lost to Montenegro
Ladies beat Ireland and Mexico and lost to Ecuador who went out to France in the semi final.
Achieving the last 16 with both teams is the best EKF Team position at a World Senior Championships.
+68kg Women’s Kumite
Katie Hurrys results
Lost to Greece 6-1
Lost to the eventual finalist.
Back in on repercharge
Beat Vietnam 4-0, Mexico 1-0 and Spain 5-1. In bronze medal fight with Slovakia.
Katie Hurry rested for the afternoon, rehydrated and eat in preparation for the early evening start of the repercharge.
The repercharge started early evening on Tatami 1. Her dominance and attitude was seen from the off in her 1st round fight. Katie chose her distance well and timing to win a smooth fight.
Katie’s second fight saw her step up a level in her commitment to key points and accuracy on punching. Katie went chudan and Jordan in finishing her opponent off. A great win and one that put her in the final repercharge round.
The third fight was minutes later and saw Katie start her work from the first seconds of the contest. Her confidence now at full momentum meant the timing of attacks but more importantly, counter attacks. Katie took charge and win this crucial contest!
Katie now will be competing at the highest level in the Karate World on the raised tatami in front of a packed arena on Saturday morning!
Well done to Katie on an outstanding evenings work!
-68kg Women’s Kumite
Lost 1-0 Bosnia
Ameila failed to make an impact at this level. Amelia under-performed.
1-1 lost on decision to UZB
Needs work on a combination of things. Key areas have been identified.
Lost 2nd round
Won against LBA 4-0
Alton won and had a good solid start. Good overall win.
Lost 3-0 to Estonia
Alton had a slow start and didn’t really get going. Left it too late to get back from 3-0 down.
Kata Report by Interim Kata Coach Rob Bingham
Male-Kata Reece Taylor
Reece’s first round was versus Czech Republic’s Lucas Janda. Reece performed Gojushiho of Shito Ryu versus the Czech’s Gojushiho Sho of Shotokan. Reece’s Gojushiho was good but unfortunately had a loss of balance effecting the outcome of the match which finished 3-2 in favour of the Czech, who in the next round lost to Turkey so this left Reece out of the chance of repercharge.
Female-Kata Natalie Payne
Natalie’s first outing as a senior individual competitor for England was versus Dominican Republic’s Maria Dimitrova, a tough first round for Natalie against a former Pan American Champion and multiple Karate 1 medallist.
Natalie performed a good Papuren versus Maria’s Unshu, unfortunately the result didn’t go in Natalie’s favour loosing 4-1, with Dominican Republic loosing out in the third round to Italy this left Natalie out of the chance of repercharge.
Jordan Thomas into the final of the -67kg which is on at the weekend. This will be the EKF’s first Senior Medal what a great achievement for Jordan. Also we have Katie Hurry in the final of the Bronze medal +68kgs on Saturday. Fantastic achievements.
Tuesday 25th October – Part 1 Report
Another early start for England Team. The team met for breakfast at 6-30am which was just enough time before we had a coach pick up to take us all to the Training venue for the morning session.
The athletes for Kata and Kumite warmed up together and were prepared where needed by Dave Inman in regards to any previous injuries or management.
Willie Thomas and Davin Pack took the athletes through their paces and put final preparations together for the start of the championships tomorrow.
The team were left to train while Paul Simmons went to the Linz Design Centre to register all athletes.
This was followed by the WKF World Congress, the first as an Olympic Sport.
The World Congress gave the National Federations the up to date status of the Olympic preparation and an idea on how the pathway for Karateka maybe for the 2020 Olympic Games. The pathway allows a chance for all our athletes in the EKF to try and gain a place in the British Olympic Team.
More on this will follow in final report from Linz, Austria.
The World Congress started at 9-30am and finished at 3-45pm . Our own WKF representative, Mike Dinsdale of the EKF was involved and gave his report as the WKF General Treasurer. Our President, Mick Billman was also very busy with WKF business between many places from registrations to the Tips Arena.
Some athletes trained again at 1pm while David Inham attended the WKF medical symposium at the trauma unit in Linz.
The coaches briefing was the last part of the day at the design Centre.
All athletes, coaches and support team attended the Opening ceremony which was held in the Tips Arena. The ENGLAND team representatives paraded the arena with the National flag which was followed by the entertainment and show. We were entertained by one of Austria’s most celebrated Orchestras for an hour and a half. A great end to a very busy day!
Dinner, team talk and final points for the beginning of the World Karate Championships, Oss!
Paul Simmons HOD
Tuesday 25th 2016 – Referees
Its 3 out 3 passes at the World Karate Championships in Linz for the English officials.
Peter Bibby kumite judge B
Gary Hoyle kumite Judge A
Dale Gamble Kata judge B
Monday 24 October Update
The day started with an early meet up time of 5-30am for the whole team at Terminal 3, Heathrow. Many travelling from different corners of the country.
A good mood was apparent with the whole team, even at that early hour. We were chaperoned though the airport and left on time for Vienna, Austria.
Just over an hour and half later we arrived in Vienna and were met by a representative of the Austrian Karate Federation who escorted us to our coach. We travelled for just under two hours to Linz and were taken to the center where our base for the week would be.
A quick check-in allowed for the team to have the afternoon to get supplies and get a feel of the City center.
The HOD visited the arena to see the training facilities and finishing touches to the opening ceremony.
As with many sporting events the security was very tight and a special training venue has been set up for all teams. The ENGLAND team is set to train at 8am and 1pm on Tuesday with USA, China, Hong King and Spain.
The Kata Team trained in afternoon at the Hotel. Both Reece Taylor and Natalie Payne put the finishing touches to specific parts of their Kata with coach Rob Bingham. They had a very good session and looked very good with only a day to go before the start of the individual Kata championships.
Dinner was early and it finished with National Coach Willie Thomas giving directions for the week and Head of Medical Provision, Dave Inman, giving a run down of procedures for treatments and pre-championship care.
The team were left to get an early night for the last day of preparations and the support staff to discuss the direction for the week.
Head of Delegation
Monday 24th October
The Squad and delegation have now left for the Senior World Championships and should be arriving in Linz early this afternoon.
Tomorrow the Referees and our Interim Kata Coach R Bingham attend the accreditation courses and take the relevant exams. Good luck to everyone.
Keep up with all the action via the links to the official World Champion website, official Facebook page and the WKF pay per view of the medal finals There will be an RSS feed via sportdata https://www.sportdata.org/wkf/set-online/veranstaltung_info_main.php?active_menu=calendar&vernr=74#a_eventhead
All finals can be viewed via the WKF pay per view channel info can be found here for medal rounds http://wkf.net/wkf-payperview.php
The squad depart on Monday to participate in the Senior World Championships Austria. The President Mr M Billman and the Board of the EKF would like to wish the English Delegation, Athletes and Referees the best of luck at these Championships.
Dale Gamble, Liam Brennan, Brian Noble, Gary Hoyle, Peter Bibby & Steve Coupland
Head of Delegation Paul Simmons
Medical David Inman
Kumite Coach’s: William Thomas & Davin Pack
Interim Kata Coach: Rob Bingham
Alton Brown, Jammal Otto, Brandon Jewell, Jordan Thomas, Cuba Parris, Bleu Parris, Joe Kellaway, Ryan Jay & Curtis Harvey
Carla Burkitt, Sophie Santillo, Amelia Harvey, Katie Hurry & Natalie Williams
Reece Taylor & Natalie Payne
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