England Region 1 attend World Championships
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After a touching and inspiring group meeting lead by UKITF President Master Nicholls, competitors from region 1 set of to Canada to compete in the World Championships. Alongside fellow friends and training partners from up and down the country they arrived at the venue. With confidence high and anticipation rising as the athletes made first glances with their international competitors they were then ushered to the weigh-in nervously waiting while team members, many of which who had been on strict diets and training regimes, made their weight. Once all competitors were successfully weighed in there was just enough time to get a quick bite to eat before hitting the beds for some well needed rest.

Rested and ready to compete, competitors made their way to the venue where they were greeted by a welcoming entourage of staff and volunteers. After a very welcoming opening ceremony and adrenaline levels through the roof, junior divisions were called to start warming up. Representing region one in the junior category was Aaron Mather. Being his first world championships, this was a great opportunity to gain a wealth of experience and mature as a serious player. With the support of region 1 behind him he stepped to the mat to perform his patterns. After winning his first bout Aaron began to relax and soak up the atmosphere of the occasion. Although beaten in the second round Aaron was left fired up for the sparring, and in a category where he was to be one of the youngest and lightest, he stayed relaxed but focused as he waited for his name to be called. Against a strong competitor Aaron held his own however was not his day as the Argentinean competitor received the decision. Although leaving empty handed Aaron gain a great deal of experienced and has left him even more fired up for the next worlds. Look out 2014!!

Scheduled to compete on the Fri through sun were the adult categories in which the UKITF selected 5 Region 1 athletes to take part including; Laurie Cornwell, Matthew Brunger, Danny Welland, Luke Dempsey and
Jay Gilbert. After a 2 day wait to hear the announcement of the adult divisions each competitor was eager to perform on the big stage. Up first in the pattern divisions was Luke Dempsey. After a close draw against an experienced Singapore student Luke has to unfortunately accept defeat however was soon padded up and
ready to spar. This was his first world championships as an adult and although losing in sparring gained a great deal of confidence from stepping up and is looking forward to entering the next world events as a stronger and more mature fighter.

Up next and competing in the adult forth degree patterns was Matthew Brunger. In a very competitive category Matthew progressed through the first round against Argentina. The second round saw a great display of leg control, power and endurance as Kodang was called as designated pattern. Unfortunately Matt
narrowly lost leaving the Russian competitive on his way to the finals. Fighting in the middle-weight category alongside fellow English competitor Danny Welland, Matthew battled through his first round against a strong and determined Moldovan student. Into the quarter-finals and matt was faced against the current European Champion. In a close 4 minutes of well executed sparring Matthew fell just short against the now World and European Champion. Danny also fought extremely well and was determined to beat the competitor who ended his journey short in the Euros. This determination was noticed in his sparring, overcoming the very skilled Italian opponent. Although Danny did not win, this was a positive event for him leaving Danny motivated to get back to the gym and train even harder.

In the ladies divisions it was now down to Jay Gilbert and Laurie Cornwell to bring home the medals for Region 1. In the tul divisions both Laurie and Jay drew hard draws against experienced pattern performers. Although neither athlete progressed through the preliminary rounds, each executed strong and technically correct patterns. Perhaps this result had a silver lining leaving the ladies fired up for the sparring. Laurie fought a clever fight in the first round using her aggression and ring craft well to overpower her opponent. This high standard of sparring continued through her competition as she made light work of her opposition all the way to the finals. Against America both fighters fought world class leaving Laurie to take silver medal, massive congratulations to the now current European champion and World number 2. After an early loss in the patterns, Jay Gilbert approached the ring focused and ready for battle. Jay fought her opponents technically and tactically as she progressed her way through the rounds. Of the back of Laurie’s result, motivation was high as she played off for her spot in the finals. Although falling just short Jay took a well-earned and deserved bronze medal. Both Jay and Laurie also were selected to be part of the 5 member women’s team. Against some well-prepared teams from around the world the ladies reached the finals in sparring and patterns against Argentina, known for their strong fighters and well developed team patterns. Unfortunately the ladies had to settle for silver position. Not a bad result though for a newly formed and inexperienced ladies team. We look forward to great things in the future for this team as they grow
in experience and confidence.

As region 1 would like to thank the organisers of the even along with all the coaches and umpires who travelled out to Canada to support the team and smooth running of the event. We would also like to send our appreciation to Master Nicholls, Ashley Nicholls and those that contributed behind the scenes booking flights, sorting accommodation and dealing with any issues students may have had. Thank you; your efforts are greatly appreciated.

Written by: Matthew Brunger - 3rd September 2012
[Comments: 1]

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Article Feedback:

Mac Attram ( UK ITF) : 6th September 2012, 22:23

Well done Guys. Well done:)
Frances Almeida-Davis : 6th September 2012, 13:06

What a fantastic effort and results by all. Well done guys you certainly did us proud over there.
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