The 2nd Karate wales open toOK place in Merthyr over the weekend of 2/3 july 2016.
This was a two-day event, with Saturday being devoted to Kata teams and Pairs, and all events for children of 12 years and below, and Sunday catering for teenagers and adults.
For well over a decade Vale Karate have been Wales’ most successful club, be it the WKL or elsewhere, and again were top of the medal table at this, the most prestigious event of the domestic calendar.
Although smaller than expected, this was another high quality tournament with medals hard to win in all categories.
A number of categories were merged, making winning medals even more difficult and young Jared Butcher was the first casualty of this development as he was placed in the All-ages Para Kata against older opponents. Jared and Lucas Widdringtion earned Bronze medals.
Kian George competing in the 6-8 Boys Kumite took another Bronze medal for Vale Karate as did Elliot Butcher in the high quality 11-12 Boys Kata.
Our first Welsh title came from 7-year-old Amelie Fisher in the 6-8 Girls Kata, with Heidi Randall-Sidaway taking the silver and Elle-Mai Lee earning Bronze.
Amelie later took another medal, a Bronze in the 6-8 Girls kumite!
The Bronzes kept rolling in as Ella Lyons took third place in the 9-10 Girls Kata.
Chiara Baker, along with others of an elite group, had earlier been presented with an award to recognise her two European and one World title, she then went on to dominate both her Kata and Kumite categories winning gold medals and Welsh titles in both! The impressive Sumaya Evans of Cardiff taking two silvers.
Our entries in the Parent & Child event, Mark & Ella and Mike & Kian, both took medals, silver and bronze respectively, Mike George was then rewarded for the work that has brought his consistency in the WKL as he took the gold medal in the Mens Veteran Kata.
Our U16 Kata teams, the Vale Dragons and the Vale Warriors, both earned medals with Ella, Danica and Chiara (the Warriors) taking silver and Amelie, Elle-Mai and Heidi (the Dragons) taking the bronze.
Sunday’s events for teenagers started in great fashion for Vale Karate as Max Baker took the gold medal in the 13-14 Boys Kumite -50Kg, a great result. Max and Jack George then took a silver in the Boys team event.
Vale Karate won two medals in the 13-15 Girls Shotokan, with Danica Apologista just missing the gold, earning the silver ahead of Alysha Lee who took bronze.
Alysha then went on to take the gold medal in Kumite, again vying with a team-mate as Lauren Moran took silver!
Emma Squire was in a tough category, the 16-17 Girls Open Kata with all the top three possible champions and all could also be vying for medals in the Ladies event!
Emma eventually took silver ahead of Emily Smith of Samurai and just behind Charlotte York of Kansei.
Leah Copeland had been ill since her return from Dublin, where she had been in the form of her life. Her Kata was below par, and although her class earned her a medal, it was a silver not the gold, which went to the excellent Sophie Vingoe of Samurai. In the Kumite however Leah was peerless and took the Welsh title with strong performances.