British Open Championships 2012 Glasgow

This weekend saw 4 Khalsa Champions traveling to Glasgow to compete in the British International Open Championships held in Glasgow, which had 1200 competitors from 21 countries.
Competing for the club we had Sophie Santillo, Francesca Hardcastle, Prabhjit Sehra and Alex James.

This weekend was going to be a tough weekend for Sophie and Francesca, but for Prabhjit and Alex it was more of a learning curve.

The competition was held over two days and up first on the Saturday was Sophie and Francesca.

Sophie was up first in the Individual category and had a strong Scottish opponent first round, but took the win 6-1 to send Sophie to the final. Sophie was up against another Scottish opponent in the final and won 4-1 and our first Gold of the day.

Next up was Francesca Hardcastle in the individual -53kg and Fran started the fight slowly but did enough to take the 2-1 against Ireland. Fran's second round was against a very aggressive Estonian girl who went on to win. Fran pressured her opponent from the beginning and it was 0-0 for 50 seconds or so. Fran then attacked and scored a great Gyak to the body and took the lead 1-0. In the last 30 seconds Fran got caught with good back kick and was now down 1-2. Fran running out of time, went for the point deficit and both girls Gyaked to the body but this time our opponent won the decision and the fight 3-1. Fran could still medal for bronze in repocharge and against a very experienced talented England team member. Although again in the lead 1-0 we tried to finish the fight, but we just did not get the decision on Gyaks and our opponent claimed a well deserved 2-1 win leaving Fran in 4th place.

Sophie up next was in the open category and took her first fight with a spinning Ura and the win 7-1 against a very determined Scottish opponent. Next up Sophie's draw changed and fought a very talented fast french fighter. Sophie attacked of the line and soon dictated the mat and the win 8-3. In the final for her pool Sophie met her team mate and very talented England member but we just didn't get the points we needed to win, however hard we tried and we had to settle for a bronze.

Frans open was very big with some strong girls. Frans first round was against a aggressive Irish girl who took an early lead 5-0 in under 30 secs. Fran stepped up the pace, scoring a quick Gyak, head kick followed by another Gyak to level the scores 5-5. Again to take the win both girls went for the Gyak in the dying seconds and again the score went against us leaving Fran out in the Quarters.

Although frustrating we were hopeful for the juniors on Sunday, but then the frustration only grew!

First up was Alex who after a cagey fight settled down and took the win against a good Scottish fighter winning 9-1. Next up Alex was against a clean Ukraine opponent and was down 0-3 to a head kick, which we knew we had to watch! that said Alex stepped the attack and pulled the fight back to 3-3 but the judges favored our opponent and with no repochage we had to settle for 4th place!!!

Last up was Prabhjit who is still very inexperienced, and for him this was his first major comp! Prabhjit very nervous, and got very scrappy against a very tall older opponent. Prabhjit relaxed and found his range and took the win 7-1. His semi final of his pool we cam up against a very good kicker and again we were down in the opening seconds 3-0. Prabhjit again settled and took charge with 4 consecutive Gyaks but again he caught in the last 15 seconds to another kick and the lost 4-6.

Sensei Sat commented " This weekend was very frustrating because we had the lead on all the fights but ended up on the losing side! This weekend all 4 members could have medaled and were only a point away to the next round and minimum bronze! We through the fights away rather than loose and this is more frustrating than losing! That said on a positive note for Alex, PJ and Fran were the youngest in there categories and still have 2 years in there categories, and were not far off winning this year. Sophie continues to show the commitment and drive that sees her at the top of her game!! Well done everybody and back to the drawing board!!"

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