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England Region 1 attend European Championships
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Following months of hard preparation, members of UKITF region 1 were confident and excited to await the opportunity to compete in the 2011 European championships held in Naples. Arriving early Wednesday morning, the team were anxious to explore the sites and prepare themselves mentally before settling down for some much needed rest before the commence of the competition.

Following a very smooth and well organised weigh in, the team travelled into the town centre in search of a well balanced pre competition meal before retiring for an early nights rest for the forthcoming event. Day 1 of the competition opened with the junior categories. With the support of the England team behind him, Luke Dempsey set to the mat. Performing extremely well in his heats Luke reached the finals of both individual male patterns and sparring, scheduled to take place on the final day of competition. A great start to region 1’s campaign. With the confidence of Luke’s Success echoing through the team, the adult categories were raring to go. All team members performed well in their respective division’s proving themselves as European contenders. The results saw Matthew Brunger and Laurie Cornwell joining Luke Dempsey in the finals of their patterns and left the rest of the team hungry to win the sparring.

The following day commenced with a ceremony in which all participating countries paraded the floor. It was exciting to see so many elite practitioners standing side by side in the name of ITF Taekwon-Do. After welcomes speeches were made and respects were paid it was down to business as adults sparring was announced. Eager to put in a good performance following an early loss in patterns, 2009 European Champion Jamie McAvoy was called to the ring. Against stiff competition from Czech Republic and Russia, Jamie demonstrated superior technique and determination earning a well deserved place in the finals. Representing England in the middle weight category was Matthew Brunger. After reaching finals in 4th Dan patterns, Matthew entered the ring confident, looking to reach his second final of the competition. After battling through heats against Italy and Ireland, Matthew reached the semi-finals however after a close 4 minutes of sparring fell short to the home favourite from Italy.

Next up were the ladies categories in which we had Laurie Cornwell, Prit Sidhu, Gurlaine Sidhu and Jay Gilbert. Each sparred well showing all their hard training had paid off. Laurie and Prit both fought hard in the middle weight division. Placed on separate ends of the draw they made light work of the competition securing an all England final in a match- up we were all excited to see. Not long moving up from the juniors, Gurlaine Sidhu approached the ring next, out crafting and overpowering her opponents. She too earned a place in the finals alongside her sister. A great display was also shown by Jay Gilbert however in a very competitive division was unable to secure her spot in the final, however walked away with a well earned bronze medal.

The final day was full of suspense and anticipation as the team bus pulled to the arena. First up was Matthew Brunger who set the tone for the day by unanimously winning the patterns final against Sweden, winning his second consecutive European title. Next up to perform patterns was Laurie who although executed a very powerful patterns was beaten by a much respected European and current World champion. On to sparring and up first was Jamie McAvoy, who fought a very tough and determined competitor from Germany. With the fight going to two draw it was too close to call. Down to a first point wins decision, Jamie out classed the German athlete, using speed and timing to score a clean unanswered point. A second consecutive European title for Jamie and a second gold medal for Region 1.The medal count continued as Laurie and Prit went head to head for four minutes, each seeking the gold medal. After a tiring but exciting match Laurie won the competition with Prit falling just short, a great effort from both ladies.Gurlaine also gave it her all in the final yet after two draws and a first score wins decision needed, her opponent got the better of her leaving Gurlaine to take home the silver medal. Luke also secured 2 silver medals in individual patterns and sparring, a successful end to his junior career. Members of region once again showed their perseverance in the team events which continued late into the competition.

Brentford TKD had a superb time at the European championships, Brentford was represented by Danny Welland, Pherrel Chang, Paul Jackson.

Pherrel competed in the male senior 2nd degree patterns but was edged out to the eventual winner, in sparring - his first round was drawn against the current european heavyweight champion..however after a hard fought 2 rounds Pherrel tamed his opponent with well timed jump punches and solid turning kicks and ringcraft pherrel dragged the bout to a draw, however after the extra energy sapping round Zoran had edged the fight, a great effort regardless.

Paul competed in the male senior 1st degree patterns making it to the final, Paul made it to the semi finals in lightweight sparring facing a swedish fighter - 1st round the fight was going well with Paul easily in control, he attempts a jump technique at the same time a counter kick arrives and wham his feet have lifted awkwardly and he crashed to the floor landing badly on his wrist..this is the moment Paul broke his wrist in 3 places! amazingly and like a lion he continued to fight for the duration of the bout and at every moment looked like he could still edge the result! due to the Injury Paul couldnt compete in male pattern finals, however a silver and a bronze was gained.

Danny competed in adult 3rd degree patterns exiting 1st round, more success was had in -76kg sparring having gained a bye, i fought and beat a tough spaniard, then met an italian we fought hard and after 2 rounds the fight was a draw, after the extra round i was edged out..however much confidence gained as i felt i edged time!

Members of region once again showed their perseverance in the team events which continued late into the competition. A great result saw both the ladies and male adult teams from England outperforming their opposition in both sparring and patterns. A great result for England seeing both adult male and female teams claiming over team champions. A great effort was also contributed by Mr Dempsey in the junior boy’s team who sailed through the team patterns category and fell just short of gold in the team sparring against a well prepared, mature Russian team. As a regional we would like to send our appreciation to the Master Troiano and the efforts of the organisers of the event. We understand it takes a great deal of time and effort to organise such a large scale event and for that we are grateful.

We would also like to thank Master Nicholls and the UKITF for the tireless hours they put in to organise our participation in the European championships and the harmonious efforts of the coaching team to assure each competitor was both mentally and physically prepared for the competition.

Written by: Matthew Brunger - 7th November 2011
[Comments: 2]

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Article Feedback:

Mark Skyrme ( UK ITF) : 7th November 2011, 13:48

Great Article, Great Results!
Christopher Devine : 7th November 2011, 12:35

Well done folks - some excellent results for Region 1.
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