Provision of participation opportunities in challenging competitive events for any member of the ESA has recently been initiated. Executive support of squad management and a schedule of organised sessions have enabled ESA representative karateka the opportunity to progress their competitive development and take part in targeted events that will prove to be challenging and beneficial to each individual. Following attendance at three squad sessions a team of 16 senior and junior karateka were selected to take part in the JKSA Open World Championship held at the prestigious Manchester Velodrome over the weekend of 23rd/ 24th August 2008.
Michael Carney Jnr, Terry Carney, W. Russell (Coach), Phillip Kelly, Tony Carney,Craig Forster, Ashley Cowburn, Ian Gillis, K. Downes (Coach), Michael Carney Snr. Thomas Mooney, Anthony Kelly, Christian Radcliffe, Emily Stuart, Leanne Goodwin, Chloe Roach, Paul Swanson and Emma Kelly
The event opened with a parade of 572 competitors from 59 clubs spanning 30 countries. The ESA squad were identified as an England representative team and certainly looked the part as they lined up in the new tracksuits provided by the ESA. The schedule for the 1st day was to include all kata events and all team kumite events. ESA entries for the kata consisted of:
Senior Male Kata 22 to 34yrs - Ashley Cowburn
Ashley progressed through to the 2nd round. Ashley performed well and with more hard work and entry into more events will undoubtedly continue to improve and possibly start to gain medal placement.
Senior Female Kata 18 to 21 yrs - Chloe Roach
Chloe was entering a major event as a very inexperienced competitor, yet despite this her performance was exceptional and a credit to both her and the ESA. Chloe reached the 3rd Round and narrowly missed moving through to the final four competitors.
Unfortunately due to the late start and the longevity of all kata events all kumite events were cancelled and rescheduled to take place the following day.
Senior Male Team Kumite
ESA team A - Terry Carney, Toney Carney, Ian Gillis
ESA team B - Paul Swanson, Michael Carney, Ashley Cowburn
ESA -A v Serbia
Unfortunately the ESA team lost 3 matches to 0. This on paper appears to be a decisive win for Serbia, however, without making excuses, many of the scoring decisions against our boys could have gone either way.
ESA - B v Spain
ESA 0 – Spain 3. Once again I have to say that the result is not as decisive as it appears with some very close decisions going to the opposing karateka. Paul, Michael and Ashley suffered from decisions that could have gone either way.The teams that defeated the ESA teams were the event finalists with Spain (JKSA Golden team) winning the event.
Senior Male Kumite 22 to 34yrs - Terry Carney, Tony Carney, Michael Carney, Ashley Cowburn, Paul Swanson, Ian Gillis
All karateka improved their performance dramatically with Terry Carney scoring ippon within 15 seconds, all remaining karateka gave their opponents a hard time and moved through to round two with the exception of Ian Gillis who narrowly lost a close fought contest.
All fought well, however Terry, Tony, Michael and Paul all suffered losing out to decisions that again, on another day, may have gone their way. Sole ESA survivor Ashley Cowburn progressed through to the 3rdround after a well-earned victory in a hard fought battle.
Ashley had a very close battle displaying good offensive and defence ability and was unlucky not to proceed through to the 4th round and possible medal placement.
All of the senior entrants competed well and were not beaten by better karateka. I would say competitors that compete on a more regular basis beat them. Continuation with the squad sessions and participation in more events will inevitably result in regular podium placement for our very talented squad members.
Senior Male Kumite 18 to 21yrs - Craig Forster
Round 1 – Bye
A very strong effort by Craig. Craig provides fantastic entertainment in his strong and fearless style of kumite. His opponent was clearly afraid and very lucky to get through capitalising on a last second offensive mistake by Craig. I believe Craig’s opponent was very relieved to survive.
Senior Female Kumite 22 to 34yrs - Leanne Goodwin
Good win for Leanne with some strong counter punching.
A very close fought battle that went to extension and could have gone either way, however it was not to be and maybe with a little more competitive experience Leanne would have progressed further to medal position. Well done Leanne you did yourself and the ESA proud.
Senior Female Kumite 18 to 21yrs - Chloe Roach
An excellent win for Chloe winning with decisive counter punches.
Unfortunately Chloe faced possibly the best female karateka of the day in all categories. Chloe did her best and was not overwhelmed, however it was quite clear that the karateka she was facing would be hard for anyone to beat, which proved to be the case as Chloe was beaten by the winning karateka who also won the kata event. This was a good debut event in a major event for Chloe and I am sure it will prove to be an invaluable experience that will contribute to a progressive development.
Junior Male Team Kumite 13 to 15 years
ESA Team - Phillip Kelly, Cristian Radcliffe, Michael Carney
The junior team fought exceptionally well comprehensively beating all before them in the rounds leading to the final.
Final – ESA v Russia (JKSA)
Phillip gave the ESA an excellent start with a decisive win over his opponent.
Christian fought very well, however his opponent was a little more experienced and managed a win for Russia.
Michael was fighting well recovering from an early point scored against him to draw level. Michael clearly had the beating of his opponent, however with seconds to go went on the offensive and fell prey to a very dubious decision given by the referee despite corner judges indicating otherwise. It was a disappointing end to a match as the ESA team were clearly the stronger team and deserved more than the silver medal they collected.
Junior Male Individual Kunite 13 to 15 years – Phillip Kelly, Michael Carney
Due to the late scheduling I was not in attendance to view the efforts of Phillip and Michael.Much to my surprise Phillip, who was clearly one of the strongest 13 to 15 year old competitors, did not progress beyond the 2nd round.Michael Carney who again in my opinion was one of the stronger 13 to 15 year old competitors lost his match at the quarter-final stage again much to my surprise and it was indicated to me on report feedback that official decisions were never in his favour.Both Phillip and Michael are our young karateka of the future and they gave a very creditable performance and one that the ESA are very proud of.
Junior Female Individual Kunite 10 to 11 years – Emma Kelly, Emily Stuart
Again due to late scheduling I did not see this event and feedback is from squad management.Emily fought reasonably well but did not proceed beyond a couple of rounds.Emma fought extremely well through the rounds fighting her way through to the individual final.Emma was in control of her match and in a leading position, with seconds to go she made an offensive move and believing she had scored a clear technique turned to return to base only for the referee to command carry on which enabled her opponent to score on Emma’s turned back. With only seconds to go on restart of match there was not enough time for Emma to recover the match.Emma collected a silver medal and once again it was a performance the ESA are extremely proud off.
Junior Boys Individual Kumite 10 to 11 years – Anthony Kelly, Thomas Mooney
Both competitors were competing in their first major championship and had an extremely long wait to take part in their category and unfortunately did not progress through to the final rounds. Well done to both, better results will occur with more competitive experience
This event was an open world event and the ESA came away with two silver medals for which I congratulate the squad and the winning karateka.All members of the squad were asked to behave with good etiquette and deploy a good sporting attitude whilst representing the ESA. This I can say happened without exception and I thank all competitors and team managers for their exemplary display.The whole two days was a learning experience for all who participated and supported the event.Once again, well done to all ESA participating karateka. Keep up the good work and I am sure further success is not too far away.
Michaylo L Fedyk