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6th World Junior & Cadet Championships Morocco 2009 - Reports

November 16th 2009 - Journey Home

8.00am: Well the team are on the team bus heading for the airport now. Last night there squad did not go to the after party, 'no golds, no party'. It was on grounds of safety really as the tickets were being sold openly so anyone could have gone and the priority was to look after the squad, especially the 14-15 year olds. Instead a heavily chaperoned squad headed for the city centre's most popular tourist attracton, McDonalds!

The standard at these championships has been very high, in my opinion, unlike football, the World championsips are a lot stronger than the Europeans. Countries like Peru, Brazil, USA and of course Japan all had strong teams which you wouldn't get at a Europeans. The English are at the level able to compete here with some of them doing really well. There were many near misses though with votes against the team in split decisions, many losing by a single point, etc. but the team didn't seem to get much like with many just missing out on repechage too.

The squad was strong with many capable of medalling but not this time round. They bonded well, supported each other and beleived in each other. After this, not much should phase them now.

The coaches have done a great job and got to know the kids well and know what they are capable of. They worked so hard over the course of these championsips running around the place coaching the athletes and of course at pre-training too. I think everyone has made notes on how to improve and have each gained something from this experience.

A final blog of these championships will be added soon.

On behalf of the English Karate Federations' Delegation, Referees and Squad a big thank you to all the supporters, families and friends for all your messages of support, to Jelinet for web coverage, Chikara Ltd and OPRO for sponsorship, we hope you enjoyed the coverage of these championships. Next stop Junior European Championships Izmir Turkey 5-7 February 2010. Oss!

November 15th 2009 - 4th day of Competition

Posted 16:05

Male Junior Team Kata

Chris Karwacinski, Alex Gardner and Jack Dixon. After receiving a 1st round bye the boys faced Russia in the second round. The boys preformed Jion to the Russian’s Kanku-Dai but the Russian’s who had been training together for the last 5 years proved too strong claiming all 5 flags. The Russian’s failed to make the final end all medal hopes for the team.

Female Junior Team Kata

Aimee Sell, Rachel Newey, Emma Lucraft. The girls faced Denmark in their opening round performing Bassai-Dai against the Danish Seipai. The girls did really well claiming all 5 flags.

The girls then faced the strong efficient German team in the 2nd round who performed Gojushiho against the girls Annan Kata. Unfortunately their earlier victorious score line was reversed losing by all 5 flags. Unfortunately the efficient wheels fell off the Germans in the next round as a few synchronisation issues knocked them out of the competiton.

Rebecca Crowly – Cadets +54k

Rebecca CrowlyRebecca’s first round saw her up against a Norwegian opponent. The Norwegian fighter caught Rebecca a couple of times in the face and received two warnings giving Rebecca a one point lead. Another contact warning against Rebecca’s opponent and 2 more points to Rebecca to give her a 3-0 lead. Rebecca then scored with a Gyakusuki punch to go 4-0 up. A final contact warning for the Norwegian saw he disqualified handing the match to Rebecca.

The 2nd round had Rebecca fighting a Serbian opponent. The Serbian managed to score a Gyakusuki punch to take the lead and as Rebecca pressed her opponent to gain her own point she was caught by another Gyakusuki punch finally losing the fight 2-0.

Zac Scott – Cadets +70kg

Zac ScottZac’s 1st round opponent was from Brazil and both fighters came out probing and testing but nether made an attacking move until late on in the match. It was Zac who pounced first scoring with a Gyakusuki punch to take the lead. As his opponent then pushed to equalise Zac scored another Gyakusuki punch to win the fight 2-0

The 2nd pitted Zac against an Iranian opponent. This encounter was a lot more dynamic with Zac quickly storming to a 4-1 lead over his opponent scoring a series of Gyakusuki punches. However the Iranian turned things around in his favour as he scored with a quick font hand to level the scores 4-4. The Iranian then pulled away scoring a couple Gyakusuki punches to eek out a 6-4 win.

Tom Hickman – Cadets U53kg

Tom HickmanTom’s 1st round saw him face an Iranian opponent and with just over 30 seconds gone Tom scored his 1st world championship point with a Gyakusuki punch. However, his opponent quickly relied scoring his own Gyakusuki punch to level the score. Two contacts warnings for Tom’s opponent saw him regain the lead. Tom then scored a Jodan Mawashigeri kick to take a 5-1 lead to safely see off his opponent.

The 2nd saw pitted Tom against a Venezuelan opponent. Tom came out more aggressive but was counter-punched to go 1-0 down. Tom continued to push and a contact warning to the Venezuelan saw Tom level the score. As Tom continued he picked up 3 point from a Jodan Mawashigeri to go 4-1 up before sealing the fight with another Jadon Kick to win 7-1.

The 3rd round saw Tom again a Russian opponent who came out strong to dominate the fight but Tom caught him with a Gyakusuki punch to take the lead. A Jodan Mawashigeri soon followed giving Tom another 3 points. Tom scored two more Gyakusuki punches to seal a 6-0 over the Russian.

Round 4 and Tom now faced a Turkish opponent and Tom started brightly once again scoring an early Gyakusuki punch to take the lead. After Tom’s opponent received a contact warning giving Tom a point he soon double Tom’s lead being penalised once again with another contact warning. $-0 but the Turkish opponent started to close the gap scoring with a Gyakusuki punch to reduce the lead and Tom then gave away a penalty point of his own for holding but the 4-2 score line was enough to see him through.

The 5th round semi-final saw Tom in a close edgy fight against an Egyptian opponent until the Egyptian scored mid way through the fight. Tom stepped it up but his advances were halted after he was caught on the counter with a Gyakusuki punch. A Jodan Mawashigeri from his opponent saw Tom drop to 5-0 down then 6-0 as he tried to claw back the deficit. Tom did gain a consolation point with a second left on the clock but the damage had been done and now Tom was left facing one more fight for a possible bronze in the repechage final as the Egyptian booked his slot in the showcase final.

The repechage final saw Tom face an Australian opponent. There were no scores for a while in this close fight until the Australian out Gyakusuki punched Tom to go 1 point up. Tom pressed his opponent who gave away a penalty point to Tom for two successive contact warnings. Tom then stole the lead scoring with his own Gyakusuki punch before he seal his bronze medal scoring a final Jodan Mawashigeri kick in the dying seconds to seal a 5-1 win. BRONZE!!!!

Jake Langley – Cadet U70kg

Jake LangleyJake’s 1st round opponent from Spain gained the initial point against Jake with 30 seconds but Jake responded well and pressed his opponent for the equaliser. A 50/50 Gyakusuki punch finally went England’s way with Jake levelling the score. Spain soon scored again taking the lead before Jake pulled it back once again scoring with 18 seconds left. However, 8 seconds later Jake finally took the lead scoring with a Gyakusuki punch to steal a 3-2 lead over his opponent which was good enough for the win.

Jake then fought a Turkish opponent in the 2nd round. The Turkish opponent stalked Jake early on but Jake counter-punched him to take the lead. The Turkish opponent continued to stalk Jake for the equaliser but Jake’s defensive work was good enough to hold out for the win.

The 3rd round saw Jake against a Dutch opponent who scored early on with a Gyakusuki punch to take an early 1-0 lead. Jake chased the equalising point and a second warning for contact finally saw Jake gain that point to level the match 1-1 just before the end allowing for one extra minute of extra time. Almost immediately Jake walked into a Jodan Mawashigeri kick to go 3 point down. Try as he might, Jake couldn’t reply and bowed out in the 3rd round having done well. Unfortunately the Dutch opponent didn’t make the final ending Jake’s repechage medal hopes.

November 14th 2009 - 3rd day of Competition

Posted 21:55

Lauren Crawford – Cadet U47kg

Lauren CrawfordLauren came out sharp and scored an early point with a Gyakusuki punch but gave away a penalty point following a contact warning levelling the scores at 1-1. A similar penalty point from her opponent gave Lauren the lead back but her opponent scored a few more Gyakusuki punches to take a 4-2 lead.

Lauren did manage to reply scoring her own Gyakusuki but she gave away another 2 points for a contact warning before her opponent took another scoring point to end the fight with a 7-2 win leaving Lauren an early casualty.

Chloe Cooper – Cadet U54kg

Chloe CooperAn excellent aggressive start from little timid Chloe as she dropped her timid persona and dropped her Mexican opponent too straight out of the championships with a 3-0 win. Chloe scored all her points from Gyakusuki punches to seal her place in the next round.

Not so much good fortune for Chloe in her 2nd round match as a 50/50 Gyakusuki punch goes to her Turkish opponent. Chloe did all the pressing to regain the point back but it was her opponent that scored with another Gyakusuki punch to win the fight 2-0. Her Turkish victor went out in the semi-final ending Chloe’s repechage hopes.

Update for Saule Del-Rio

Saule Del-RioThere was to be no medal for Saule as Saule’s 1st repechage round saw him up against a quick Gyaking Egyptian and that was the telling difference between the two fighters in this match.

A series of quick Gyakusuki punches saw Saule go 4-0 down before gaining a penalty point.

Saule pulled another point back with his own Gyakusuki punch before being caught at the end with a Jodan Mawashigeri kick to finish the wrong side of a 7-2 score line.

Posted 19:10

Jacon Kiernan – Cadet U52kg

Jacon KiernanJacob showed no signs of international nerves as he faced USA in his opening fight scoring within the first few seconds. A penalty for contact saw him double his lead before extending it further scoring with another Gyakusuki punch. Jacob was soon 4-0 up before another 2 points for contact came his way and with another Gyakusuki punch scoring Jacob comfortably 7-0 up before a final contact warning for his opponent saw him disqualified hand the fight to Jacob.

The 2nd round saw Jacob versus Holland. Jacob quickly stormed into a 4-0 lead with a series of Gyakusuki punches but then got caught by a Ura-Mawashigeri kick from his opponent closing the gap to 1 point. However, his opponent gave away a penalty point for contact before receiving two more contact warning which also saw him disqualified.

The 3rd round saw Jacob against an Iranian opponent and Jacob took an early lead only to lose a point to his opponent soon after. Jacob scored another Gyakusuki punch to take the lead once more and a final penalty for contact awarded against his opponent gave Jacob a 3-1 win.

A gallant effort from Jacob but he just couldn't get passed his Russian opponent in the 4th round quarter-final. Jacob looked sharp but was caught by the Russian’s Ura-Mawashigeri to go 3-0 down. Jacob tried to score taking the fight to his opponent and received a couple of face blows resulting in a penalty point going his way but it wasn’t enough as he bowed out losing 3-1. The Russian then lost in the semi-final on the buzzer in extra-time to his Japanese opponent leaving Jacob just out of repechage.

Posted 15:25

Mitchell Roberts - Male Cadets Kata

Mitchell RobertsMitchell received a 1st round bye which saw him face a Latvian opponent in the 2nd compulsory Kata round. Mitchell performed Basai-Dai against his opponents Jion which saw Mitchell win 5-0

Mitchell’s next round saw him less fortunate as his Chatanyara Kushanku Kata lost 4-1 to his Egyptian opponent’s Kata.

Unfortunately the Egyptian, who looked like he was going all the way to the final lost to the Iranian in the semi-final.

Aimee Sell – Female Cadets Kata

Aimee SellAimee’s 1st round pitted her against an opponent from Kazakhstan. Aimee performed Seienchin to her opponents Kanku-Dai and won the round 5 flags to 0.

Aimee’s 2nd round was against a Spanish opponent. Aimee performed a strong Bassai-Dai whilst her opponent performed Seienchin. The flags went 3-2 against Aimee.

Unfortunately the Spaniard lost later on denying Aimee a chance for a bronze through repechage.

Kate Kawacinski – Junior U59kg

Kate Kawacinski Kate’s 1st round bye saw her through to round two to face the local Moroccan fighter. Kate was caught very early on with a Ura-Mawashigeri kick going 3 points down. Kate dug deep and fought hard scoring a series of Gyakusuki punches to level the score to 3-3. With just 4 seconds left on the clock Kate pulled off a great come-back scoring another Gyakusuki punch to win 4-3.

If that come-back was great, the next one in the 3rd round against her Montenegro opponent was amazing. Kate had to level the fight after going down 2-0 early on but warnings for her opponent saw Kate claim the points back. Kate was soon down another 2 points but once again her spirit to claw back the deficit saw Kate gain another 2 points from her opponents warnings. The fight finished 4-4 with one minute of extra time to go through. Extra time saw Kate go behind once more and then gain a penalty point as her opponent fained her injury once again. Another point down but two more warning points saw Kate finally come out on top with a 5-3 win. Sorry if this was a bit sketchy but it happened so fast I couldn’t keep up with my notes!

The 4th round quarter-final pitted Kate against France who went 2 points up early on scoring with a Chudan Mawashigeri. Kate chased the fight down as she had done in her previous rounds but was caught by the French Gyakusuki punch to go 3-0 down. Kate gained a consolation penalty point from her opponent for contact but 3-1 wasn’t enough to see her through. The French opponent went out in the next semi-final round losing to Serbia.

Hannah Baker – Junior +59kg

Hannah BakerAfter receiving a 1st round bye, Hannah found herself up against the Norwegian opponent. Both fighters did a lot of probing during the fight and there wasn’t many opportunities for attack and the inevitable extra time ensued. However, this time Hannah came out guns blazing and took an early lead. Hannah doubled her lead shortly before the end scoring with another Gyakusuki punch before giving away penalty point at the death but it was enough to see her through to the next round.

The 3rd round saw Hannah face the local Moroccan fighter. Although on home soil, Hannah came out busier and sharper and took an early lead. Her opponent did little to respond and Hannah kept her 1-0 score line until the end.

The 4th round quarter-final pitted Hannah against a good Turkish fighter and went a point down early on. Hannah pushed for the equaliser but gave away a contact warning before getting caught by a Gyakusuki punch from her opponent bowing out 3-0 down. The Turkish fighter did make the final so Hannah had an opportunity to redeem herself in the recharge rounds.

It was Hannah versus Portugal in the repechage semi-final and Hannah picked up an early score with a Gyakusuki punch for a 1 point lead. Her opponent pressed for the equaliser and scored with a front punch to level. A Gyakusuki punch from her opponent opened upa 1 point gap but there wasn’t enough time for Hannah score any more. Unfortunately there was no medal this time for our European silver medallist.

Saule Del-Rio – Junior +76kg

Saule Del-RioAfter receiving a 1st round bye Saule face a Korean opponent in the 2nd round. Saule quickly counter-punched his opponent and took an early lead. Saule’s very presence kept his opponent at bay for most of the match with Saule just missing out on a few Mawashigeri kicks. A Gyakusuki punch late on doubled his lead which he followed up with a devastating blow to finish the fight 3-0 up.

The 3rd round saw Saule have a close match and he went 1 point ahead after his opponent received a contact warning. Mid way through the fight Saule’s opponent equalised with a Gyakusuki punch and unfortunately with just 4 seconds left on the clock a 50/50 Gyakusuki punch decision went to his opponent leaving Saule to bow out mid way through the competition.

Posted 11:55

The squad are still in high spirits but were becoming a little deflated yesterday but the silver medal from Ryan Jay has boosted everyone again. As luck would have it, the random doping control had picked Ryan's position for a test and following his medal presentation he was straight off tto doping control with physio Mo. That meant Ryan and Mo had to miss the squad coach back to the hotel and didn't arive back until 10:30. The whole squad came out to greet him, coaches, Ticky and Carl too. After the claps, cheers and hugs, Ryan had some photos done with EKF President Carl Lindley before tucking into his belated dinner.

Spoke to Emma Lucraft yesterday and she missed her hand/foot slap in her Bassai-Dai Kata. That's what cost her. Even though she made a mistake in her compulsory Kata she still claimed a flag which showed just how good her performance was over her opponent. If for that one slip-up she would have gone all the way to the final where she would have met a very tallented Japaneese girl who's Kata's looked brilliant. The Japaneese girl also won her Kumite event too winning double gold. Amazing.

This morning the remaining Juniors, Kate, Hannah, Saule take to the mats along with the start of the Cadets with Mitchell and Aimee performing first in the Kata events. Fingers crossed.

November 13th 2009 - 2nd day of Competition

Posted 19:55

Ryan Jay Silver Medalist at World Championships lost 1-0 to Iran

Posted 19:30

Ryan Jay - Junior U55kg

Ryan JayThe 1st round saw Ryan against a Bengal opponent and Ryan counter attacked his opponent drawing him in where he pounced with a series of Gyakusuki and front punches to secure a 5-0 win.

The 2nd round had Ryan against a Korean opponent. This time the fight was a lot closer with Ryan leaving it very late to score snatching the win with a Gyak punch with 2 seconds left on the clock.

Ryan saw out his 3rd round Slovakian opponent with a 3-0 win after taking the fight into extra time. Ryan scored the first point but gave away a penalty point to tie the match forcing the extra minute of fighting time. However, Ryan stepped it up a gear and scored with a Chudan Mawashigeri kick to take a 2 point lead. Another point to Ryan from a warning to his opponent saw him through with a 3-0 win.

The 4th round quarter-final saw Ryan have an edgy encounter with his Spanish opponent with both fighters not taking any chances in the opening minute of the fight. With 17 seconds left Ryan scored the winning Gyak punch to knock out his opponent.

The 5th round semi-final saw bith Ryan and his Japanese opponent under pressure not to give anything away. It was Ryan who went 1 point down which forced him to step it up a gear and strangely with 17 seconds left on the clock again he scored to tie the scores. Another minute of extra time ensued but Ryan came out on top with a 2-1 victory to see him into the final.

Jay Kirton - Junior U61kg.

Jay KirtonIt was an early exit for Jay losing 2-0 to his Tunisian opponent in extra time in the opening round in this nail biter of a fight. Jay equalised his 1-0 deficit with 3 seconds left on the clock taking the fight into extra time.

The 1 minute of extra time saw Jay caught twice by his opponent who picked up 2 points and held on to the lead as Jay chased him down but to no avail.

Gavin Bailey - Junior U68kg

It was touch-and-go for a while for Gavin as he fell behind early on to his Welsh opponent. Gavin left it late to respond and within the last 10 seconds he scored 2 Gyakusuki punches in quick succession to take the lead. A final point from another Gyak punch on the buzzer gave Gavin BaileyGavin the win.

It was a touch 2nd round fight for Gavin against his French opponent. Gavin was 1-0 down within the first 30 seconds but two successive contact warnings from his French opponent gave Givin a point to tie the scores 1-1. However, towards the end a 50/50 Gyakusuki punch exchange went to the French and even though Gavin threw everything at his opponent he just couldn’t score anymore points.

Gavin did make repechage as his opponent booked his place in the finals. Gavin was pitted against a Danish opponent who came out strong. He managed to score 3 Gyakusuki punches against Gavin leaving Gavin desperately trrying for a big score, but that came from the Dane as he finished the fight off with a 3 point Jodan Mawashigeri kick leaving Gavin with a 6-0 defeat.

Alex Sell - Junior U76kg.

Alex SellAfter receiving a 1sr round bye, it was Alex versus Palestine with Alex winning 8-0. A series of sharp Gyakusuki punches throughout the fight, coupled with a 2 extra points from his opponent for contact and holding saw Alex through to the next round before the 2 minutes fighting time had expired . Although the score-line looked flattering the fight was al ot harder than it seemed.

The 3rd round saw Alex against the big, gangly opponent from Azerbaijan who looked a good foot taller. Alex took the lead early on scoring with a Gyak punch but 2 successive contact warnings meant a point to his opponent and levelled the score1-1. With 30 seconds left his opponent scored with his own Gyak punch but was himself penalised for holding with 3 seconds on the clock once again levelling the score to 2-2. Extra time ensued but neither fighter broke the deadlock with the decision now going to the judges. Even though Alex did most of the chasing throughout the fight, the flags went 2-2 but crucially the ref’s vote carried the decision against Alex.

Stephanie Thorndick - Junior U53kg.

Stephanie ThorndickSteph had a good fight against her Slovakian opponent with both fighting hard. Both got an preliminary contact warning before Steph scored with a Gyakusuki punch to take the lead. As he opponent attacked to equal the score, Steph defended well keeping her opponent at bay by blocking and counter punching to see the fight through.

Steph had Italy in the 2nd round with the tall Italian scoring very early on in the fight with an over-the-top punch. Steph managed to reply within a few seconds to level the fight up once again. It took Steph the rest of the fight to finally score just before the end to finish off her opponent winning 2-1.

The 3rd round saw Steph against a South African opponent with Steph coming out firing scoring almost instantly. However, mid way through the fight her opponent tied the score 1-1 following a Gyak punch. Her opponent scores once again just before the end and try as she might, Steph just couldn’t rely ending the medal hopes.

Posted 15:30

Ryan Jay in final of -55Kgs - he beat Japan to get to final

Posted 12:40

Emma Lucraft – Female Junior Kata. 36 in category, pool 1.

Emma Lucraft Disappointment for Emma as she bowed out early in the competition. After receiving a 1st round bye, Emma was up against an opponent from Peru. Emma performed Bassai-Dai in this second of the compulsory Katas whilst her opponent performed Kanku-Dai. Flags went 4-1 against Emma.

Although her opponent made it all the was to the semi-final, she lost out to USA ended Emma’s repechage chances. Tough luck as Emma’s Kata looked really strong and sharp but this just wasn’t going to be her day.

Jack Dixon – Male Junior Kata. 44 in category, pool 2.

Jack DixonAfter the current European bronze medallist, Jack, received a 1st round bye, Jack performed his best choice compulsory Kata in the 2nd round against his Croatian opponent. Croatia always produce strong Karateka and Jack had a tough job but performed it admirably beating his opponent 5-0.

Jack’s 3rd round Kata, Kanku-Sho, however didn’t have the same effect against his Annan performing Turkish opponent. Flags went 4-1 against Jack leaving Jack a few rounds short of medalling this time.


November 12th 2009 - 1st day of Competition

Posted 21:45

Carla's victorious Japanese opponent stormed all the way to the final leaving Carla in the 1st round repechage facing her counterpart from Scotland. Bright start but unable to score, Carla's opponent managed to score a Gyakusuki punch which saw her into the next round and eventual bronze. Unfortunately, this time Carla missed out.

Posted 17:15

Carla burkitt lost 1st round to japan on judges decision came back in repo lost to Scotland
Cheyne Phillips just lost the bronze medal to Belarus
Rio smith out first round against Spain extra time

Posted 16:55

Rio Smith – U21, +60kg. 35 in category, pool 2.

Rio Smith1st round bye for Rio which saw her face a Spanish opponent in round two. A really good feisty exchange sured between the two fighters and Rio nearly scored as her opponent just stepped out of the mat as Rio’s Jodan Mawashigeri kick landed.

The girls continued on with Rio starting to push but the 0-0 stalemate remained until extra time. Once again a good opening exchange in extra time with Rio coming close again to scoring from a Jodan Mawashigeri but unfortunately the Spaniard scored with a Gyak punch first with only 17 seconds left on the clock. Time just ran out for Rio as she chased the equaliser but she just couldn’t catch her opponent.

Carla Burkitt – U21, U53kg. 32 in category.

Carla BurkittIt was disappointment for the current European bronze medallist as Carla’s first round pitted her against Japan. The Japanese fighter was lightening quick and many of the 50/50 exchanges went the Japanese way. With less than 30 seconds on the clock Carla pulled back one point scoring with her own Gyakusuki punch before levelling the score at 4-4 in the dying seconds by scoring a great Jodan Mawashigeri kick.

Extra time ensued and with 30 seconds left the Japanese fighter once again took the lead scoring a Gyakusuki punch. But with 2 seconds left the Japanese fighter received a penalty warning for holding levelling the scores once again. The match went to the judges votes – 3-1 to the Japanese and disappointment for Carla.

Cheyne Phillips – U21, +78kg. 43 in category, pool 2.

Cheyne PhillipsChyene’s 1st round opponent was from Latvia and seemed an even match as both fighters attacked and defended well unable to break the deadlock and taking the 0-0 fight into extra time. Cheyne was the first to break to deadlock scoring with a Gyakusuki punch to take a 1 point lead and doubled it shortly afterwards scoring once again to win the match 2-0.

2nd Round saw Cheyne against a tall opponent from Finland. A gyak under the Fin’s kick gives Cheyne the opening point with 1:30 left on the clock. Buoyed up Cheyene took the fight to his opponent a grabbed another point to eek out a lead. However, a point against Cheyne made for a close finish but he held on to win 2-1.

The 3rd round saw Cheyne face a Columbia opponent who came out firing with Cheyne on the backfoot. Cheyne defended his position slightly too harshly giving away two successive contacts warnings and a point to his opponent. However, Cheyne was soon awarded a point back as his opponent also gave away a penalty point. Within a few seconds Cheyne was 3-1 up a another 2 points winged its way to Cheyne for another infringement by his opponent, however Cheyne did drop a point near the end to see out a battling 3-2 victory.

The 4th round quarter-final pitted Cheyne against the large Moroccan local lad who seemed to have the reach and height to cause Cheyne a few problems but Cheyne used his speed well to dodge many of the attacks and launch some counter attacks before getting caught by a Mawashigeri kick. The flags were disputed between the judges but the referee gave the 2 points anyway to the Moroccan. That was enough to see him through to the next round at Cheyne’s expense after Cheyene put in a very spirited performance that could have taken him all the way, however, like Ross he bowed out in the quarter-finals but unlike Ross, his opponent did make the final putting Cheyne in bronze medal contention via repechage.

Cheyne’s next fight saw him pitted against a Danish fighter in the repechage semi-final. Good opening exchanges saw Cheyne take the lead scoring a solid Gyakusuki punch. Another 30 seconds later Cheyne doubled the lead with another Gyak. Ten seconds left and Cheyne dropped 1 point allowing his opponent to come back with his own Gyak but Cheyne held on to secure his place in the repechage final.

Tears of disappointment or shear frustration. The four minute final never reached the end as Cheyne limped off injured handing the match to his opponent after a scruffy grab around the neck takedown ended with Cheyene twisting his knee which severely hampered his ability to claw back the 3 point deficit. Cheyene’s opponent capitalised on his injury and tried more takedowns resulting in some minor warnings but managed to gain another 3 points as Cheyne couldn’t defend the last one. Cheyne then limped off as he injured his foot to cap off a frustrating repechage final. Hard luck Cheyne, a gallant effort and 5th best in the world.

Posted 15:05

Ross Mathieu - Male U21, U68kg. 59 in category, pool 1.

Ross Mathieu 1st Round saw Ross against Ghavidel representing Quatar. Ross started the brighter of the two fighters pushing his opponent backwards as he chased the points. Ross took the opening point scoring with a Gyak punch to settle the nerves. Half way through the match the officials notices there had been a mix-up on the scoreboard with the names reversed and it took a couple of minutes for them to sort out with Ross leading 2-1 at that stage. At the restart Ross’s opponent levelled the score to 2-2 but Ross benefitted from a penalty point awarded against his opponent before scoring a final Gyak punch to win the match 4-2.

The 2nd round saw Ross come out sharp a firing once again, however, his domination of the fight didn’t produce any points as the match ended 0-0 and went into 1 minute of extra time. Once again Ross dominated and the pressure eventually paid off as he scored a winning Gyak to secure a 1-0 win.

The 3rd round has Ross pitted against his Mexican counterpart with both fighters entering into a really cagey opening with nobody risking getting caught. Ross was the first to break the deadlock but soon dropped a point as the match proceeded into 1 minute of extra time with the 1-1 scores remaining. Extra time saw the Mexican try a few takedowns on Ross, really close but none scored leaving the door open for Ross to grab the win by scoring a Chudan Mawashigeri kick and a Gyak to seal a 3-0 win.

Ross now in the 4th round quarter-final came up against a tricky Algerian opponent who just seemed to have the reach over Ross and try as he might he was beaten to the punch. Ross eventually bowed out 5-0. Unfortunately for Ross, his Algerian opponent lost in the semi-final round ending Ross’s repechage hope. So close, but yet so far.

Gareth Hains – U21, U78kg. 56 in category, pool 1.

Gareth HainsGareth secured a 1st round bye to face a Slovakian opponent for his first fight. An edgy opening from both fighters neither taking many chances.

Gareth tried a Jodan Mawashigeri kick but was rewarded with a point against him as he opponent scored under the kick. With 15 seconds left on the clock Gareth was caught by another Gyak as he pressed for the equaliser but did manage to pull one bacj before the end but time was against him and the buzzer went as Gareth lost 2-1. His opponent failed to make the final leaving Gareth no entry into repechage for a chance of the bronze medal.

Reisha Hull - U21, U60kg. 36 in category, pool 1.

Reisha Hull Reisha was in total control of her opening match eking out a steady 5-0 lead after scoring a succession of Gyakusuki punches. However, her win was made a little uncomfortable towards the end as she walked into a Jodan kick to drop 3 points but she held out to see her into the next round.

Reisha’s 2nd round opponent from China ended Reisha’s dreams as she scored the only point of the fight to beat Reisha 1-0. Reisha fought more defensively and came close to scoring on a number of occasions but it was her opponent who snatched the point with a Gyak that settled the match. The Chinese girl subsequently lost ending Reisha’s route into repechage and potential bronze medal.

November 12th 2009 - 1st day of CompetitionAn early start to the morning for the team as the first day of competition finaly descends on the Squad. A 6:30am breakfast followed by the 7:30 coach to the competition venue meant that England were one of the first teams to arrive. The Squad had their pick of seats in the near deserted stadium taking up a central location for the best views. Slowly the stadium is beginning to fill with various nations adorned in their national tracksuits.

There has been a few low key chants, cheers and claps with the Senegal team singing an African song. England let rip with their adopted "England Aroo, Aroo, Aroo" chant to blow the dust off the stadium seats. Gareth, Ross and Cheyne have now gone down to weigh-in before the competition starts.



November 11th 2009 - 2nd Day in Rabat

November 11th 2009 - 2nd Day in Rabat Its starting to get hot in Morocco now so the squad trained only for an hour this morning.

It was busy at the training venue today with Japan, Iran, Ukraine, Egypt to name a few all going through their final preparations. Coaches were watching other countries squads and comparing notes while the England team had a debrief from Wayne Otto, who were then given their entry ID cards and told what is happening over the next 24 hours.

Ticky Donovan OBE also spoke to the squad giving them plenty of encouragement. The squad are relaxed and are now enjoying the sunshine while they can. The squad will meet up again tonight for dinner then an early night will ensue as the bus is leaving at 7.30am sharp to take them to the stadium tomorrow.

More later . . .

Well this is it, parents, families and supporters are starting to arrive, today is registration day at the HQ hotel, Sensei Wayne Otto is going to register the squad and delegation, hand in the England flag and collect all the necessary paperwork. The other coaches are taking the squad to breakfast and then to the training venue for some light training for those competing later in the week. The U21s will be taking it a little more easy as they compete tomorrow. More later . . .

Read about the Kumite Squad in the Halifax Courier »

November 10th 2009 - 1st Day in Rabat

4.00pm and training commenced again with a twist. Greg Francis took the squad for a 20 minute warm up with his fit2fite with music, while other countries looked on a bit bemused while they did more traditional warm-ups. The Kumite Squad under Wayne Otto's supervision  then got into groups of 3 to do some combinations and then into pairs with one person attacking and one defending. Jon Mottram took the Kata Squad with individuals going through their choice of Kata. The Squad are working extremely well together giving each other support and encouragement. The coaches are encouraging the young Squad and really helping them to be focus and be prepared for the next few days.

Overseing, as Head of Delegation, Ticky Donovan OBE is taking a real interest in the Squad, watching them train. The Squad will be heading back to the hotel around 6.00pm for dinner and a rest.

Tomorrow the EKF President Carl Lindley joins the Squad and the delegation as final preparations are made and the Squad are registered.

Thank you to all the Squad's friends and karate ka who have sent them messages of support and good luck - please keep them coming and your messages will be passed onto the Squad.

The squad returned to the hotel about 11.30  to freshen up and get something to eat, there will be a further training session this afternoon. 

The Squad left for breakfast at 8.00am, a little tired but OK. We set off at 9.15am and are fortunate that there is a training stadium around the corner from the hotel about 5 minutes walk away. Other teams training at the venue have been Tunisia, Australia and Iran.The Squad started some light training with the kumite squad going through some sparring combinations while the Kata Squad worked in pairs. The Squad are in high spirits and are extremely eager to get going.

November 9th 2009 Travelling to Rabat

EKF Squad November 9th 2009 - Travelling to Rabat The squad travelled to Heathrow and met up in Terminal 2. They were very quiet, but once check in began they started buzzing. Three of the squad had had a slight delay in the their connecting flights but eventually all were checked in ready to begin the final leg to Morocco.

Once the goodbyes to friends and families had been done, the squad went through security and for something to eat.

The flight was good (little bumpy in places!) and the coach was on time to collect us. It took just over the hour to reach the hotel. We got to the hotel about 10.30pm where everyone checked in. There are 2 other teams in the hotel the Mexicans and Czech teams. The hotel staff had kindly kept the restaurant open for us so the team could have a meal which the squad were pleased about.

Wayne Otto told the team that there would be some training tomorrow and to be down for breakfast at 8 AM!

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