The weekend (16-17th Feb 2019) the Bangor Karate Union (BKU) sent a squad of 7 to the BUCS National Karate championships. This would be the clubs third year competing at BUCS and for all but one member this was there first time at the event.
Kata was the main event on Saturday. The morning started with the team kata event, for which the team had only had a week to practise and perfect there synchronicity. The team did amazing but where unfortunately knocked out by Edinburgh who went on to get third place. The rest of the day was taken up by the individual performances of the kata girls. The club went on to achieve its best results ever in BUCS Kata. Our senior female progressed through to place in the Top 32, a personal best for her. In the novice event, everyone progressed through rounds, with Beth beating her personal placing from last year to achieve the Top 16 this year. The event culminated over a disqualification of one of our members; unfortunately, the appeal was also unsuccessful. However, Rachel was given a second chance through the repêchage for the bronze medal. She shone so brightly and progressed all the way through, performance after performance with no rest, to ultimately just miss out by one vote to take 4th place. After such an eventful day, everyone retired to the hotel and traditional team meal, before resting up for an early start, for the fighting events the next day.
A 7am start awaited on Sunday morning, but the drive to the Ponds Forge was made less grisly by the accompanying beautiful sunrise. Today was the turn of the fighters. The first ever novice fighter Arcadia fought well against someone who was well over a full head taller than she was, unfortunately her reach was too advantageous and were placed 9th. In the senior women’s category Bangor’s fighter progressed through to the semi-finals (a first for the club), but ultimately lost out and placed fourth, the highest placing female fighter. The final event and competitor of the day was in the males -84kg fighting. Theo fought well in his first fight and won 7-0, been the first person to score points in BUCS for the club. He progress through to the quarterfinals, but was knocked out by the finalist. This meant that Theo was given a chance to get bronze through the repêchage. The fight for third place was intense; Theo took the lead at the start and fought well. However, in the last minute his opponent drew level. Theo would still win if he did not concede any more points, but he was on three warnings, and a further warning would mean disqualification. The last 15 seconds were intense, with Theo trying not to concede a point or warning and his opponent trying to score the winning point. The timer rung and Theo had won! The first BUCS medal for the team and on its 3 year anniversary! The day finished with the medal ceremony and many tears of happiness at such a crazy two days over BUCS and all the achievements made, especially the development of Theo’s fighting since joining the club in October and never having competed before joining us.
Next step for Theo is the European University Karate Championships in the summer!
Final BUCS Results of 2018/19
Team Kata – Top 16
Novice Female Kata – Hannah, Top 32; Beth, Top 16; Arcadia, 6th and Rachel, 4th
Senior Female Kata – Holly, Top 32
Novice Female Kumite – Arcadia, 9th
Senior Female Kumite – Vic, 4th
Senior Male Kumite – Theo, 3rd