KARATE: Competitors flock to LKA for Euro bid
The Luton Karate Academy hosted the KWF England National Championships at the weekend.
Competitors travelled from all over the UK to challenge for a title and try to prove their worth for squad selection for the European Championships being held later this year.
The day’s proceedings started with all the competitors being led into the arena by the local Emerald Pipe Band of the Luton Irish Forum, who fired up both the fighters and the spectators alike.
The additional weekly training sessions laid on by the LKA in the past months certainly paid off as by the end of the day the 38-strong squad had amassed an impressive haul of both individual and team medals with youngster, Ramy Hammoudi (8), topping the medal tables with three golds and a bronze.
There was plenty more to celebrate in the Hammoudi household as older sister, Sabrina (14), won a gold and two silvers whilst brother, Samy (12) also bagged two silver medals.
Amy Ely (6) put on a spirited display in all her events and won two golds, a silver and a bronze, while Oliver Pepper (9) closely followed the pair by taking two golds and a silver with team-mate Megan Booker (9), winning two golds and a bronze.
The Stopsley-based club produced two double gold champions with Vytautas Mikucionis (21) and chief instructor Mark Slattery (26) both winning their individual kata and kumite divisions.
The final medal tally amounted to a phenomenal 41 medals (30 individual and 11 team) and 10 fourth places.
LKA technical director, Liam Mills, 21, said: “I am incredibly proud of the team’s achievement; they all held their own under great pressure and shone through as great ambassadors for both the discipline of karate and the town of Luton alike on this national stage.”
Slattery added: “We’re looking forward now to the KWF Europeans in Glasgow.”
For a full set of results, see the News/Gazette on sale now.