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43rd Junior, Cadet & 8th U21 European Championships, Limassol, Cyprus, 5-7 Februrary 2016
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Steve Karwacinski competed in the Male Junior events and faced Poland i the 1st round. Both competitors performed Jion Kata and Steve won the round 4 flags to 1. The 2nd round pitted Steve against a Czech opponent who performed Seienchin against Steve's Kanku-Dai. Unfortunately the Czech won the round 5-0.
Alex Gardner competed in the Male U21 Kata event and also facing a Czech opponent lost the round. Alex performed Kanku-Dai whilst his opponent performed Jion and it was the Jion Kata that secured a 5-0 win. However, the Czech made the final leaving Alex in repechage and a chance for a bronze medal.
Alex performed Unsu Kata in the repechage semi-final round against his Greek opponent's Chatanyara Kushanku. Alex won 4-1. The repechage final was Alex's chance for bronze but was against a strong Turkish opponent. Both competitors performed Kanku-Sho but Alex lost out for bronze 4 flags to 1.
Nurjehan Shaikh competed in the Female Junior Kata event and faced a Swedish opponent in her opening round. Nurjehan performed Seienchin but the Swede's Sepai Kata was too good and went through with a 5-0 win. Unfortunately she lost the very next round meaning Nurjehan was out of repechage too.
The fighters are underway now and the boys are out first.
Ryan Jay competed in the U61kg event and as previous Cadet European Champion Ryan looked a pre-tournament contender. Ryan looked good in his 1st round fight beating his Bulgarian opponent 6-1 with ease. The next round saw Ryan against a Romanian opponent. With no score at full time or after extra time the decision went to the judges vote. 2-2 but referee went for Romania and carried the decision.
Alfie Ambrose, European Junior U68kg Bronze Medal. Great achievement for Alfie taking bronze. Alfie drew 0-0 with his Swiss opponent in both normal and extra time but the vote decision went 3-1 his way. After that shaky start Alfie opened up more and beat his 2nd round German opponent 3-0. The 3rd round saw Alfie face Armenia and Alfie came through that with a 2-0 win. The 4th round pool final pitted Alfie against France and Alfie came unstuck here as the French opponent out-pointed Alfie winning 5-0. This left Alfie in the repechage final and he faced Portugal for the bronze medal fight-off. Early on in the fight the Portuguese fighter landed a hefty blow to Alfie's face. Alfie just got up from the floor within 10 seconds. A 2 point contact penalty was awarded to Alfie. Alfie then fought on well but was caught near the end to give a piont away but he hung on to win the fight 2-1 and claim European Bronze. Well done in a battling performance.
Lauren Crawford was a 1st round casualty in the Female U48kg event. Lauren faced a Luxemburg opponent and went 6-0 down before gaining a point near the end but eventually lost out 6-1.
Heidi Jay was another 1st round victim losing out to Slovakia in the U53kg event. The fight went into extra time with the scores tied 2-2. Extra time produced no score and the decision went to the judges vote. Unfortunately for Heidi it was 3-1 against her.
Hannah Baker followed in Heidi's footsteps as she also bowed out in the 1st round beaten in extra time by her Hungarian opponent in the Female Over 59kg event. The scores were all square at 1-1 forcing the fight into extra time. The Hungarian scored 2 single gyak punches giving her a 2-0 victory.
Kate Karwacinski, European Junior U59kg Bronze Medal. That was a fraught, tense experience watching Kate, especially standing next to her parents. Kate fought well in her 1st round fight beating her Russian opponent 3-0 but her 2nd round fight against her Finnish opponent was too close for comfort. The fight went into extra time after a no score tie and Kate came out victorious with a 1-0 extra time win. The 3rd round was another close contest but Kate's single point was enough to see off her Italian opponent. The 4th round pool final was very tense and with the fight looking like it was going into extra time her Turkish opponent scored a 3 point jodan head kick and that was enough to steal the win.
However, Kate had the chance to redeem herself in the repechage final. Facing Greece Kate made sure of bronze as she upped her game and although a couple of kicks were not scored she still won 2-0 to claim European Bronze.
Tom Hickman competed in the Male U75kg event and after a scrappy yet close fight went out to his Slovenian opponent. Tom was 2-0 within 30 seconds but a series of warnings saw the scores levelled at full time. In extra time Tom was the one to give away a contact warning and that was enough the Slovenian through with a 1-0 win. Tom's opponent made the final leaving Tom with a chance of bronze through the repechage rounds. Tom's opponent in repechage was Turkish and Tom was unlucky to lose out again. 2-0 up with under 1 minute left Tom gave away a point on warnings which spurred his opponent on. The Turkish fighter scored 3 times near the end and defeated Tom 4-2.
So competition day 2 see England claim another two medals, this time both bronze to add to the three silvers from yesterday.
Congratulations to coaches on doing a great job as they keep the medals rolling in.
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