USKFI 15th Shotokan Cup 2016
The final quarter of the USKFI calendar is one of the busiest periods of the year with courses, grading and competitions coming thick and fast. This weekend it was time for the USKFI members to take to the mats for the Shotokan Cup.
The Shotokan Cup which is now in its 15th year is one of the largest individual competitions on the USKFI calendar and we were very happy to welcome our friends from Zanshin Karate Northern Ireland to share the mats with us. We had great support from our members `with over one hundred and fifty karateka taking to the tatami to showcase their skills. In the brown and black belt section alone we saw record numbers for this event with over seventy karateka competing against each other for the top spot on the podium. The standard on the day was superb from our very youngest competitors’ right up to our most senior experienced karateka.
As always the competition produced some intense nail-biting matches in both Kata & Kumite that was sure to please the expectant audience watching on. We certainly had some stand out performers on the day; we witnessed a little star in the making in Lucan SKC’s Saoirse Waterhouse who at the tender age and grade of a seven year old orange belt was superb in her events and beat off much older and more experienced competitors to take home medals in both her events. Another stand out performer in the children’s events was Phibblestown’s Arisha Foysal. Once again at the tender of seven years old took to the mats like she had years of experience under her belt stormed through her eliminations to make her pathway to the final where she would eventually take home the gold medal. Another one of our up and coming talents that definitely deserves a mention is Navan’s SKC’s Zuzzanna who again medalled in both her events after some excellent performances. Zuzzanna is showing consistency in her performances and is a regular on the podium at this stage. Keep up the good work Zuzanna.
In the boy’s Kumite event the stand out performer of the day was Corduff SKC’s Donnchadh Murray who showed a fighting intelligence far beyond his years. He stormed through the elimination matches against some stiff competition. Donnchadh made it to the final where he met ZSNI’s Dylan McCloskey; the current KUGB National Champion. This did not faze Donnchadh and after going a point down he managed to get a point back. As the match restarted and both competitors sized each other up Donnachadh went for it only to out-timed by Dylan by a very close margin. It was a fantastic match between two great competitors.
In the Girl’s Kumite event Kingscourt’s Eva Thunder was in great form throughout the day and at such a young age showed great determination and nerves of steel to seal a place in the finals against Corduff’s Blaitnaid Murray. It was a tough match between the two young ladies where Eva eventually came out the victor to claim the title of the 2016 Shotokan Cup Champion.
The level of competition throughout the day was very high which in turn had the makings for some exceptional matches. This carried on into our senior events in particular the senior male kumite event. After taking home gold in the Senior Kata event ZSNI’s Andrew Mills took to the tatami for the senior Kumite. He showed great experience and composure winning his matches in decisive fashion against some tough competition. After a fantastic day of competition the Referee and Judges panel came to the unanimous decision that Andrew would also be awarded the 2016 Shotokan Cup for being the most outstanding competitor of the day.
That brought to a close what was another exciting memorable well run day of competition for the USKFI. The atmosphere on the day was terrific and the camaraderie between the competitors was as always a joy to watch. The USKFI would like to thank all our competitors who took part and were brave enough to take to the mats….not an easy task. Not all made it to the podium this time around but keep up the hard work and eventually your time will come. Remember what we say….sometimes you win and sometimes you learn!! To all our referees, judges and officials thank you for giving up your time and ensuring that the competition ran smoothly. To all the parents and supporters thank you for being a fantastic audience supporting and cheering on the competitors. There were a couple of impressive things on the day……firstly the high standard of competitors on the floor; secondly the cohesiveness within the referee’s and judges to ensure a fair and honest competition and finally unity from each person who walked through the door…….and that is why we are the UNITED Shotokan Karate Federation of Ireland. Thank you all and we look forward to seeing you all once again at our upcoming events.
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