Sophie’s European Medals Haul
Posted on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 by Sophie Powell — No comments
After over 16 months of preparation, it is hard to believe that the KSI European Kimura Cup 2019 has finally come and gone! On 7th October, I flew out to Portugal with the SKF England Karate Team for what turned out to be a memorable week!
After a few days’ preparation in the Portuguese sunshine, the tournament officially began on the following Friday and first up were the Team and Individual Kata events. In the Senior Team Kata, we faced Sweden in the first round, and despite an extremely confident effort we lost. However, as the Swedish team went on to win the Championships, we entered the repecharge for the bronze medal, which we managed to win by beating the home team, Portugal. Unfortunately, later in the day I was less successful in the Ladies Individual Kata event. Despite giving what I believe to be a personal best performance, I was knocked out in the first round by a competitor from the eventual bronze medallist from Finland.
After a slightly disappointing first day, I was fired up and ready to go for the Kumite events; the first being the Ladies Heavyweight. After a win in the first round, unfortunately in the second I came up against a more experienced fighter, losing 6-0 despite my best efforts. However, once again I had the opportunity to return to action in the bronze medal repecharge, which I was thrilled to win. This was my first individual international medal since 2009, so it was a really special moment and filled me with confidence going into the team event later that day.
In the Ladies Team Kumite first round, my teammates and I faced off against Switzerland B, winning all our fights to progress to the semi-finals. Next up was the challenge of meeting the world and European champions; Finland. After our first fighter lost, the pressure was on for me to win. Fortunately I managed to do so, which proved crucial as the final result came down to a points count, which went in our favour by one point! I was delighted to have played such a crucial part in this win, as it meant the England Ladies Team had a place in the final for the first time in several years. However, this was against a very strong Switzerland A team and despite a phenomenal fight, it was not enough to take gold. Nevertheless, we were very proud to return home as European silver medallists!
I am incredibly pleased to have achieved a silver and two bronze medals in this tournament, but could not have done it without the help of my fantastic teammates and coaches. I would like to thank the Shukokai Karate Federation for helping me to achieve my goals and Venn Group for sponsoring me so I can once again represent my country. Quite simply, without their help I would not be able to afford to compete at this level, so I am incredibly grateful.
It might have been a busy few weeks for my karate, but the hard work doesn’t stop there! I’m already thinking about the next big tournament, which is the KSI World Championships in Cape Town in July 2020. Watch this space!