Luxembourg Open 2012

3 Competitors 1 Gold and 1 Bronze.

On Friday, 4th of May, Khalsa Champions set off on a road trip to the continent to compete in the Luxembourg Open. Along the way, the group decided to visit our Champions Club Headquarters, Sensei Junior Lefevre, in Liege, Belgium. Taking the trip was our experienced competitor, Sophie Santillo, and Francesca Hardcastle and Noah Allen, who were both competing in their first international event.

The crew set off fairly early Friday morning to catch the channel tunnel crossing and make it to Liege for some training on the Friday afternoon. Making good time (despite a less than satisfying hotel choice), the team were ready and willing at Champions Dojo for a few hours training that evening. Noah was severely tested by Junior and his squad all evening and acquitted himself well, running a gauntlet of fighters from Junior's club. Junior noted that Noah had great speed and had improved greatly since he had seen Noah last summer.

We then made for Luxembourg early Saturday morning. Arriving with no drama, we checked in, weighed and got ourselves ready for a touch day.

As expected, Noah was up first. Noah was really feeling the nerves at this point and had a large category as always. Noah's category included children from Germany, Holland, France, Belgium and Luxembourg. Noah started off against a tough competitor from Luxembourg and shook off the nerves and took control right away, before finishing off with a 6-3 win. In the next fight, Noah faced Holland and was getting sharper, winning 5-0. In the quarter finals, Noah had another Luxembourg fighter who put Noah in a 6-0 hole right away. Being coached by none other than Freddy Lefevre, Noah fought his way back to 6-6 before being cautioned for a hard side-kick to the body. After two more cautions for Gyak's that dropped his opponent, Noah took the lead with seconds remaining. Letting his guard down, Noah took a Sambon and lost at the buzzer. Great experience for Noah!

Fran was up next and had a tough draw. In her category were some very well known fighters representing Holland, France, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg. Fran was unfortunate to draw the eventual silver medalist, who was clearly a very experienced fighter. Fran did not back down, and after going down 3-0, clawed the fight back to 4-3 before being picked off by a clever and fast fighter. Although Fran lost this one, she was given repo charge and took full advantage. Her opponent, from Germany, was a tough fighter and kept the fight close. However, with power and superior fitness, Fran put a stamp on the fight and closed it out with an amazing hook kick (her second scoring hook kick of the fight!) for a 10-3 win and bronze in her first international! We were all very proud of Fran and know this is the first of many!

We then had Sophie taking the matt. Sophie had a tough category of very experienced fighters. Sophie's first draw was a German fighter, whom Sophie managed very well, despite a considerable height disadvantage. Sophie never looked like losing this one. In the Semi-Finals, Sophie drew probably the next toughest fighter in the group, a French fighter with real speed. After going down by 4, Sophie pulled off the move of the tournament with a spinning back hook kick that scored for a Sambon. Sophie then continued to pressure her opponent and began to take charge and had the fight won until the dying seconds, when her opponent leveled for 6-6. The judges went 3-1 in favour of Sophie and she was off to the finals. In the finals, Sophie had a German fighter who, again, had height advantage. Sophie came straight out and took charge. Seemingly scoring at will and keeping pressure on her opponent, this one was never in doubt. Sophie won gold for the third straight international! Well done Soph, we were very impressed.

Rather than take the entire home journey in one leap, the crew then stopped off for the night in Brussels. Although ambitious at first, all faded and after a quick meal at the Grand Place, we turned in for our first good night's sleep of the weekend. Before heading home Sunday, the crew put in a few hours sight seeing. It was a great feeling wandering the old parts of Brussels, knowing that there were a few days rest ahead after all of the hard work.

Sensei Sat commented: "Again words fail to amaze me. The squad of three took themselves abroad to fight, and for two this was there first time, and still manage to give a superb performance and medal!!! For Noah this was just a test to see how he faired since taking the English title and again proves he's capable of mixing it with the Europeans!! The same can be said about Fran. Having won the England Championships this was a natural progression and Fran stepped up to the mark!!! For both Fran and Noah this was an excellent way to start your International career!! For Sophie this was a tough weekend with some very good fighters but again Sophie's commitment ceases to amaze me coming up Gold again on European territory. I can not explain how proud I am of what the squad of 3 have achieved this weekend but can say with there hard work and dedication the results are finally coming. My thanks goes to Coaches Chris and Debbie for travelling and coaching the squad and also for Sensei Junior and Freddy Lefevre for coaching and putting the squad through there paces!!! We at Khalsa Champions are very proud to be part of the Champions Club and Toyakwai!."

  • View
  • View
  • View
  • View
  • View
  • View
  • View
  • View
  • View
  • View
  • View
  • View
  • View
  • View
  • View
  • View
  • View
  • View
  • View

  • WKF
  • EKF
  • English Karate Federation
  • Thames Community Foundation
  • Design Gurus
  • MCE
  • J.Lefevre
  • YMCA
  • Sport Kingston
© Copyright 2018 Khalsa Champions | Site by JeliNet