USA Open Karate Championships

5 Competitors 2 Golds, 2 Silvers and 1 Bronze.

On Sunday 22nd May Khalsa Champions travelled to Dudley to compete in the USA Open which was very busy and as always fantastically organised.

Competing for Khalsa Champions were Sophie Santillo, Josh and Tom Dugdale, Noah Allen and Junior Williams.

First up was Josh Dugdale who was in a large category of 20. Josh although only just turned 7 years of age showed no fear, taking the first fight 7-3, followed by a draw in the second, taking it into overtime and winning 5-0, to reach the semi finals. The semi final's was unfortunate for josh although he was winning at one point lost 4-5 to a round house, giving him a well deserved Bronze!!! Well done Josh!!!

Next up was Noah Allen who had a small group, however won his first unanimously 8-0 taking him straight to the final. The Final was there for Noah to take and in the early minute of the fight was winning. The second minute into the fight cost Noah a gold for warnings of contact to the face ending up with a 5-8 loss taking well earned Silver!!! Well one Noah!!!

With two trophies from two competitors, next up was Junior Williams and Tom Dugdale who had a large category of 22 competitors. First up was Junior Williams and unfortunately Junior was against a very good fighter the overall winner, and just couldn't find his range. Although Junior was down in the early part of the fight clawed back 3 points however this wasn't enough and lost 3-6. Good try Junior!!!

USA Open Karate Championships

Next up was Tom who fought bravely and won the first 8-2, second fight 7-1, third 12-6, to reach the semi finals and won 8-4 to reach the final. The Final was very close and although at one point Tom was winning, was finally beaten 4-7 by two good kicks to the head. Although contact was not allowed the chief referee scored the technique. Tom fought with bravery and heart and earned himself well deserved silver. Well done Tom!!!!

With all the juniors done last up was Sophie Santillo and coming off a Double Gold in the English, had possibly the best fights of her career. Sophie entered -59 and plus +59kg and had a very hard task to beat her opponents.

USA Open Karate Championships

In her first category -59kg Sophie, had a first round bye to reach the semis against a very aggressive and tall opponent. Sophie being the smallest did not get over roared and beat her first her opponent with sheer class 9-2, taking her to the final. Sophie then came up against the current England Squad member. Sophie's opponent was on fire today taking an early gold in the lower category and Sophie had her work cut out. This first minute of the fight was very cagey and Sophie took the early lead with a fantastic gyak followed by a hook kick taking her 4-0. The last 10 secs saw sophie on the attack and again a fantastic combination followed by another hook kick saw Sophie 7-0 up. The last 2 seconds both girls went in with a gyak and this time her opponent took the point, but Sophie the match and a well hard fought Gold!!!

Sophie hadn't finished her day and although tired entered the bigger category and won the first fight 8-0, taking her to the semis. With all the girls towering over Sophie she relied on her basics and won the semi's 4-0 taking her to the finals, where she again outclassed her opponent and won 5-0 and did not drop a point!! Another well deserved Gold!!!! Well done Sophie!!!

Sensei Sat commented, "This weekend was a great result for the squad, and there are many positives and negatives to take a way and re-fine. The juniors showed they can match other clubs even with the inexperience of other competitors, and the seniors continue to show the desire and class to be the best!! Well done to everyone and Sensei Paul Campbell for a fantastic well organised competition."

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