Mel’s European Championship medals – Silver for Cadet individual Kata and Bronze for Junior Team Kumite
Congratulations to Meleri Pryse and Steven Bailey from Ikkyo Aberystwyth Karate Club! Both students were selected to represent Wales in the European Championships, which took place in Portugal. They travelled with their Chief Instructor, Welsh Squad Kata Coach Paul James on Thursday 21st of November to spend a day training before the competition started on Friday 22nd of November. Competition was fierce on the first day, with Meleri Pryse winning round after round before finally winning a hard-fought place in the final. She performed a near-perfect rendition of Gankaku, eventually taking home the silver. She was also a member of the Ladies Team Kumite (fighting) event, who all fought well, winning a place in the finals. They were eventually beaten by the host country’s team, despite a very strong showing, and won the bronze medal.
On the second day, fighting spirits were even higher, and it was the turn of Steven Bailey. He won a number of rounds in the Junior Male Kata event, before facing the current Junior World Champion Sam Biranvand from Sweden during the final round on his area. Winning this round would have taken him to the Semi Finals. Unfortunately, Steven’s competitor was on form again, beating everyone in the competition and regaining his European title for a second consecutive year.
Fantastic performance at this year’s Shotokan Cup.
At only 16 years of age Meleri Pryse had a large task ahead of her after moving up a category this year to compete in the Ladies Under 21s Kata event. Surprising her opposition she stormed through the preliminary rounds with the top scores. Entering the finals as one of the favourites Meleri performed a brilliant rendition of Gankaku, taking the British title at her first attempt!
Steven Bailey had perhaps an even tougher challenge. Moving up to the 18+ Men’s event having just turned 18 the day before meant Steve was the youngest in his category. To make matters harder this event also consisted of the current World Champ, the European Champ and two other international medallists. With a superb performance of Gojushiho Dai in the semi finals Steve missed out of the medals by the smallest margin possible (just 0.1 point!). Being that close really shows that Steve has got what it takes to take on the very best. Watch this space!
Great result. Ella coming 3rd in the girl’s kumite. Steve helped Mel and Anya get through to the Team finals but had to withdraw after injury. Anya did an excellent job as a reserve. Mark fought well but was unfortunate to be drawn against Callum O’Neil (winner of Best Competitor trophy) for the second year running, this time taking an early lead only to lose in extra time. Well done
If anyone has any photos, video or links of the day they want to share drop us a line.