New Irish titles for karate students

8 November 2009
by Mizukara
The listing was posted by Mizukara

Last weekend at the official Irish Karate Championships which took place in the National Basketball Arena in Dublin, local karate students from Ards and North Down claimed six Irish titles. 
The event, which attracted nearly five hundred students from across Ireland from Shotokan, Wado-Ryu and Kempo styles was a day of excitement, action, smiles, tears and a few bumps and bruises. Carnalea Wado Kai selected their biggest ever team to attend the event, some eighteen competitors and hopes were high that they would collect a few Irish titles.
Top local star of the day was Mark Francis from Bangor who, even though he has only been training in karate since May, collected gold in both his categories of (kumite) fighting and kata, proving that his international gold in Carlow three weeks ago was no fluke. Coach Kevin Lewis commented “Mark is one of a number of new senior students to start karate with Carnalea. They have all been progressing well and enjoying the training, however Mark has really excelled in the two competitions he has entered and is very deserving of these titles.”
The next title winner was Lauren Shields.  Following on from her sister Sarah’s wins in the British open the previous week, young Lauren proved she is another star in the making, winning gold in her kata event. 
Another winner of an Irish title, at a first attempt at a national competition, was young Dean Miller from Newtownards who collected gold in his kata event. 
In the parent and child expert kata section defending champions, David & Sarah Brashaw saw off the challenge of Sean & Glen Barron from L/Derry with a crisp performance of Jion and successfully reclaimed their title.  Each of them then went on to claim silver in their individual kata events, both losing out by point one on gold.
In the teenage boys’ kata, James Hewitt, at his first ever competition took silver.
Coach Lewis added ‘Considering our students of Wado-Ryu were up against the better scored Shotokan karateka katas, to claim so many medals is a terrific achievement.  Even with a last minute replacement in the junior girls’ team kata event, our team of Sarah Shields, Aimee McAllister and Megan Bell were only just pipped into fourth. In the individual kumite there were so many super performances it is hard to know were to start, however the happiest newcomer to fighting competition had to be Rachael Fleming who collected a bronze. She was closely followed by another bronze for British Open star Sarah Shields.
Undoubtedly ‘all’ of the team, for many of whom it was their first national event gave one hundred percent and have loads to be proud of. They are: Cody Moody, Jessica Palmer, James Nelson, Kyle Clarke, Daniel Meharg, Kirstie Greer, Craig Brashaw, and Sam Stevenson.’  Coach Lewis finished by saying ‘The performances were superb. A point here or there and we would have collected a lot more medals. Well done to all and a big thank you to all the parents who supported the team.’