Second major karate title for Rhian
3:01pm Tuesday 1st October 2013 in Sport
DOUBLE CHAMPION: Karate champion Rhian Evans, of the Barry Kyokushin Karate Club, who has won two major titles in a year, with Senpai Phill Sedgemond.
COMPETING against colleagues from all over Europe, three members of the Barry Kyokushin Karate Club - Sarah Walker, Richard Stafford and Rhian Evans - attended the IKO GB open tournament in Ware, Hertfordshire.
Having taken gold (kata) in her first tournament - the English Open - in March - as an 8th kyu (blue belt) when competing against two 3rd kyus (green belts) and a black belt, Rhian faced much higher graded students in the same category. It was clear from the offset that Rhian’s competitors would be performing more complex katas and intimidation might shake the young champ, but, taking to the mat, she announced her kata to the judge with a stern, determined voice - Rhian's entry level kata was geksai dai (a kata for 3rd kyu grade). Performing this with excellent precision and ability, Rhian sailed into the final rounds. Showing great determination and attitude, Rhian announced her kata (yantsu) and performed impeccably; so much so that she actually scored 0.4 higher than the second-placed competitor to lift the British title.
Club instructor/coach Senpai Phill said: "Rhian has achieved two major titles in one year and, considering she has only been training with Barry Kyokushin for a little over 12 months, it is incredible what she has achieved.
"Rhian has attended summer camps, a referee's course and extra training at the Branch Chief of Wales dojo, which is why she has achieved so much at this stage of her career. One more year competing nationally and I am going to start looking at sending Rhian to compete at international level. She really does have what it takes."
After training hard, Sarah (cadet knockdown), was, unfortunately, hit by illness just two days before the tournament but still competed. Although knocked out in the early rounds by last year's champion, Sarah stood strong against a seasoned opponent and was very unfortunate not to place. Phill said: "Had Sarah been 100 per cent, I think she would have been in the top three of her category."
In clicker (semi contact), Richard was competing in his third tournament and, in the early rounds, dominated his opponents with speed and precision in techniques. Fighting through well, Richard was unlucky not clinch third spot, and Phill said: "Richard improves every year and his time will come. He had some very hard fights and it's only a matter of time before he's collecting the medals."
The Barry club train out of Castleland Community Centre - Mondays and Wednesdays - juniors (6yrs to 15yrs) from 6.30-7.30pm and seniors (16yrs plus) from 7.30-9pm. The club has many offers in place for beginners; if interested, please call 01446 408974 or visit www.bkkc.co.uk