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SUCCESS AT CENTRAL ENGLAND OPEN
19 July 2022 10:41 pm
Central England Open 2022. (Photo credits: Ian, Annette & Steven Connell)
Bristol Karate Academy’s first team outing since the COVID pandemic ended with three medal haul, as our 11-person team travelled to Worcester on Sunday for the Central England Open.
The championship is one of the biggest tournaments out there, with 894 competitors in attendance and over 1,300 entries between them. The event took place across eight tatamis (competition areas) in the University of Worcester Arena. An excellent venue that was only missing one thing on one of the hottest days of the year – air conditioning!
The Academy’s first medal came in Team Kata, where the team of Tim Griffiths, Steven Connell and Dan Salter came back together for the first time since 2018. It was a solid return too. The trio secured a win against a favoured team from Yanagi Kai, who themselves qualified for the semi final against one of two JKS England teams.
The final was an all-JKS England and all-South West England affair: Bristol vs a JKS England team composed of competitors from Somerset Ryū in Wellington. With barely anything between the two teams, the result when the way of JKS England team, by way of a split decision: two flags to one. A silver at such a prestigious tournament was an excellent first tournament back! Congratulations to our friends from Somerset.
Three Bristol Karate Academy competitors were there representing JKS England at this tournament. One of which was Academy sensei, Tim Griffiths, who was looking to add a second win to the Veteran Kata British title won back in April.
With three katas to perform, the second ended up as a match between Tim and his Academy club mate, Ian Connell. Ian picked up the Academy’s second medal of the day by taking bronze, while Tim moved on to a repeat of the BKF 4 Nations gold medal match. This was again an all-JKS England final, with Tim competing against squad mate and multiple-time Central England champion, Sharif Ebrahimi. But it was Tim that took the victory and gold medal, with a performance of Gojushiho Dai. Congratulations to Sharif for a great kata.
Aside from medals, this tournament was a fantastic opportunity for Academy members to see what tournaments within the English Karate Federation are like. The event was open to all karate styles and the standard was simply outstanding. Our club members put in excellent performances all round, displaying exemplary attitudes. And while there were no further medals, there were plenty of valuable lessons learned that will help our competitors develop towards their next tournament later in the year.
Congratulations to all those that took part and thank you to everyone that supported the team throughout the day.