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Junior & Cadet World Championships Guadalajara, Spain 2013 Kumite Report

Willie Thomas 6th Dan, National Kumite Coach

With spirits running high all the athletes were in fine song and with pre-training complete the athletes prepared to turn their dreams into reality.

All in all we managed our expectations, realistically evaluated how much can we expect from our athletes when up against the World's finest. This is not so much a measure of their abilities but more of a measure of how hard the world championships actually are.

Unfazed by this, each competed with the tenacity and vigour one would expect when wearing the three lions on their breast and did us proud.

In the absence of a Kumite medal there were some notable performances namely, Charlotte Wastel (defending World Champion) who was outstanding losing to Japan in the semi-final and then Croatia for the bronze medal placing 5th overall.

Charlotte's points tally for the day was well in excess of 20 points of which is a great achievement at this level.

Bleu Parris produced a valiant effort against the eventual bronze medallist to gain a fantastic 7th place.

Lauren Tutty also but in a valiant performance picking up a hip injury still to finish a credible 16th place.

Bailey Baker on his first outing for England did himself proud also finishing in the top 16.

Squad members:

Sophie Santillo

Jasmine Pomeroy

Ryan Jay

Thomas Hickman

Arron Kiernan

Alphie Powell

Lauren Tutty

Joe Kellaway

Jake Pickering

Bleu Parris

Cuba Parris

Emily Appleby

Jamaal Otto

Katie Dalzell

Katie Dalzell

Bailey Baker

Fran Hardcastle

Nikkisha Bailey

Emily Appleby

In the last decade the spread of medals throughout the world has diluted the dominance of 'Karate strong' nations with 28 countries taking a share of the medals, 10 countries winning more than three medals and the rest being shared between the remaining 18 countries. This World Championships boasted 100 countries and 1335 participants.

So balancing the input with the output and all things considered are Kumite placing's are as follows; one fifth, one seventh and two top sixteen in the world demonstrates England's capacity to still produce talent. Well done to all who competed.

Special thanks you to Dr Mohinar Surdhar MCSP BSC (Hons) Phd, who provided excellent medical care, the chaperones who worked tirelessly throughout the entire trip. Assistant coaches Davin Pack and Paul Newby without whom my job would be impossible, Kata coach Jonathan Mottrom who never ceases to inspire me, head of delegation Greg Francis who responded with distinction to all squad needs and emergencies and finally our President Mr David 'Ticky' Donovan OBE who was a great support to the squad and ambassador for the English Karate Federation.

Willie Thomas 6th Dan, National Kumite Coach

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