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ESKA European Championships 2013

Karateka from all over Europe descended on the seaside town of Povoa de Parzim, Portugal to compete at the European Shotokan Karate-Do Association (ESKA) Championships over the weekend of 22-24 November. With competitors from 20 different countries, the tournament ran for three days and lived up to expectations with "top class" Karate performances of the highest standard.

Sendai Kushiro had four members selected for the event, these included:

Holly Sterling competing in the Senior (over 21 years) event was on fine form against the cream of European Karate as she took Bronze in the Senior Female Individual Kata. Holly also took a further Bronze medal in the Senior Female Team Kumite alongside Caroline McGrath and Rhianne Blundell.

Sam Light performed very well and was part of the England Junior Male Kumite Team that placed 3rd after losing to Russia in the semi final, Russia then went on to win the event.

Beth Nicholson, 17 returned as a double European Champion winning The Female Cadet (16-17 years) Individual Kumite and was also victorious in the Junior (under 21 years) Team Kumite alongside of her team mates. Beth fought her way through the rounds against some fantastic competitors, but the toughest test was to be in the final against a Portuguese competitor, who on home turf was also seen as one of the favourites for the title, however it was Beth that was victorious ending the fight with a spectacular kick to the head.

Ryan Spencer, 16, was competing in his first European Championships and took the event in his stride progressing well in the Male Individual Cadet Kata, Kumite and Team Kumite. He reached the semi finals in all events but unfortunately took a blow to the arm which resulted in him being taken to hospital and withdrawn from the event. Although Ryan received a broken arm and was unable to continue, he also ended the event receiving two bronze medals in his two Kumite events.

The event was a huge success for the England Team taking first place in the overall medal table. The England Team are now setting their sights on next years European Championships that will be held in Zurich, Switzerland.

Report from ITV news http://www.itv.com/news/tyne-tees/update/2013-12-19/full-report-sunderland-karate-fighters-go-to-european-championships/

Beth Nicholson double European Champion

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