On Saturday at the Oxford Goju Ryu Karate – Do Kumite (fighting) tournament, Westminster College, orange belt, nine year old, Isobel Craft, came second in her first ever competition after winning all her fights by a significant margin and then drawing in the final, only to narrowly miss out on gold in extra time ‘sudden death’.
Fearless green belt, Diana Lima, also put in an impressive performance coming in third place after dominating both her brown belt opponents only to lose out on points to more experienced fighters who managed to score points even though they each spent three rounds on the back foot defending against Diana's heavy blows. It was encouraging all the same to see that the only significant blow fourteen year old Diana took – a whack on the nose, was soaked up without a flinch.
Windrush team mate, the awe inspiring 12 year old black belt, Elisabetta Mainwaring, showed the type of class that has earned her a place in the national team by demolishing her plucky opponents to take first place in her age category.
Seitou Ryu Winter Open Karate Championships in Tilbury, Essex
The next day Diana was faced with more of the same, being controversially knocked out of the first round of the Seitou Ryu Winter Open Karate Championships in Tilbury, Essex. Diana dominated her taller, blue belt, male opponent only to have blow after blow unscored by the judges - much to the disgust of members of the audience.
Diana showed great courage and strength throughout the fight, none more so than when her opponent landed an illegal blow to the throat which failed to stop our girl’s onslaught for a single second. The fact that Diana’s exhausted opponent was taken directly to the St John’s ambulance for treatment after the fight shows that she certainly made an impression on him - whatever the decision of the judges.
The balletic Emmy Craft managed to put her disappointment at Diana's result to one side to once again came home with a gold medal in the kata (patterns of movement) competition after putting on her trademark a flawless performance.
Team mates Elisabetta Mainwaring and Tom Quaitan both also earned medals.
Tom won silver in the kumite while Elisabetta topped her victory in yesterday’s Oxford kumite tournament with a well-deserved gold medal in the kata competition from a solid powerful performance.
Windrush Karate Club Sensei, Ben Solomon, paid tribute to his students: ‘What a great weekend for our club. I am very proud of our team’s achievements, well done to all'.
IWCA Athletics Club, Stuart Craft, added: ‘I’m of course proud of Isobel and Emmy’s achievements, but I must say that I believe it is unjust that Diana didn’t come home with a medal. She fought hard and dominated all her fights and the hard earned fitness gained at the IWCA AC stood her in good stead. She is a potential future champion and the results don’t do her justice, but I’m sure she will take on- board lessons learned from these fights and it won’t be long before she is a regular feature on the winners’ podium’.