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Fighters win twenty one Golds at 2018 World Championships

Fifteen of the academies students travelled to Ireland in late October to compete at the 2018 WKC World Championships, amongst them were Robbie Law, Idrees Hussain, Hallie - Jo Talbot  and Kaiya Henry – Jones who were making their World Championship debuts. 

Having successfully negotiated the weigh in on the Sunday our competitors joined up with the rest of the England Squad on the Monday for the opening ceremony which included teams from Austria, Spain, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Argentina, Mexico, Ecuador, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, Northern Ireland and the USA who once again had a very big team.

Tuesday was the first day our students saw some action with the kids and cadets competing in semi contact and the juniors and adults in continuous.  Shannon Bacon got us off to the best possible start winning her light continuous semi final to reach Friday’s final a result Chloe matched later in the day, Harvey Grenfell had two tough fights in his light contact division but came through them both to ensure he was fighting on Friday. Our kids and cadets had mixed success in their respective semi contact divisions with Patrick Hoyle, Mia Woodward, Kyrah Khan all putting in impressive performances to reach their respective finals along with Brad Derbyshire who navigated his way superbly through a heavily populated division to reach the final of his semi contact division. Robbie Law fought really well to make it into the semi final of his division but was unable to progress any further, his efforts earned him and the academies first bronze medal of the tournament and more was to come from the little blonde bomber later in the week. The performance of the day went to Tejay Bacon who put on an amazing display inflicting defeat to a Scottish opponent and then an American to ensure his participation on Friday.  Unfortunately all our other students were unable to reach the semi finals going out at the preliminary round stage.

Shannon got us underway on Wednesday but was unable to replicate Tuesdays result ending up on the wrong side of 7 – 5 score in her semi contact semi – final. The youngsters were all competing in light contact and Hallie – Jo Talbot, Kyran Henry – Jones, Romeo Navaratnam, Johnny Hoyle and Kaiya Henry – Jones all made it to the semi finals but were unable to progress, all won bronze medals along with Shannon taking our total bronze medal tally to 7. Others made it through to their respective finals including Patrick and Ruby Hoyle, Tejay Bacon, Brad Derbyshire, Mia Woodward, Kyrah Khan and Robbie Law who brought a few tears to the eyes of those watching as be dropped to the floor having found out he had qualified to fight in Fridays final after fighting superbly. Unfortunately Idrees Hussain, Eromi Navaratnam and Harvey Grenfell were unable to get past the preliminary rounds, The performance of the day on a day where there several exceptional performances went to Chloe who fought a brilliant tactical fight to win her semi contact semi final against a very difficult American.

On Thursday we had all the drama that team events bring and many of our fighters were involved after been selected by the England Team Coaches to be part of teams competing in light and semi contact. One team featuring our students Mia Woodward, Ruby Hoyle and Kaiya Henry – Jones were involved in a dramatic girl’s semi contact team event which comprised three teams from Canada and two from Ireland, England and the USA. The draw put our girls up against a very good Irish team in the preliminary round, Mia won the first fight but Ruby then lost her fight by 1 single point which left Kaiya Henry - Jones  a novice at team events having to win for them to be able to progress, in a very tense fight that had Mia screaming encouragement Kaiya fought superbly under immense pressure to win her fight by a fine margin, the victory seemed to act as a catalyst as the girls (pictured with Head Coach Alf Love) went on to win both their semi and light contact team events winning our first golds of the championships. Further golds came with Kyrah Khan who won both her finals in a team with Macy Woods and Keisha Gulliver and Patrick who also enjoyed double success, in a team including Cole Rochester and Nathan Smith in which Patrick got the better of a giant of a Canadian in both disciplines.  Shannon Bacon was another to enjoy gold medal success winning in light contact teams with Paris Slater and Tegan Burnett whilst brother Tejay won a bronze in semi contact teams.

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We went into Friday with eager expectation and a degree of apprehension as to how our fighters would perform on what was going to be a very busy day, with our students participating in a total of sixteen individual finals. Kyrah Khan started everything off and was in a bit of difficulty 10 – 6 down, however she managed to fight her way back to win 12 – 10 getting our first gold of the day, Brad was next in points and was unable to make it a double success coming out second best to win a silver. Our attention then switched to Harvey who really went for it in a somewhat ill tempered light contact final, which saw him receive several warnings before getting the win. Tejay was next in semi contact winning an excellent and very tight final against a much improved Harvey Fisher 11 – 9 however Harvey was to get his revenge later in the day by reversing the result, winning the light contact final on a split decision.

An hour into the day and Chloe made her indelible mark on another World Championship stopping her Irish opponent in the first round to claim her eighteenth World Championship title in light contact, just as Chloe’s hand was being raised Shannon was starting her own light contact final but was not able to get the win losing out to Mollie Cooper to win a silver., another silver followed shortly after for Patrick in his semi contact final.  Wins for Mia Woodward in semi – contact and Kyrah Khan in light contact came in quick succession as the gold medal tally continued to rise and as we approached midday Robbie Law came up against a very tough Irish boy in his light contact final, Robbie was courageous and fought superbly well and got that elusive win and what we hope is the first of many gold medals for our little blonde bomber.  Brad followed quickly after in his light contact final but was unable to get the win and claimed his second silver of the day. As we entered the afternoon Patrick capped a brilliant week winning his third gold of the week in his individual light contact division and although Chloe was unable to get the better of Rachel Harrington in her semi contact final both Mia and Ruby finished the afternoon off with wins in their respective light contact divisions.

Our final medal of the championships went to Chloe who was part of the England women’s semi contact team that came up against an American team on the Friday night show where the Americans recorded a 3 to 0 win, it was disappointing result made all the more frustrating given the fact Chloe did not get the opportunity to fight.

After a week’s tough competition our students won a total of 21 golds. 6 silvers and 8 bronze medals which was a fantastic result, two of our fighters Kyrah Khan and Mia Woodward went through the entire week undefeated and returned as quadruple World Champions whilst Patrick and Ruby Hoyle with their double team success added to their results in individual events were crowned Triple World Champions showed the qualities our more experienced fighters bring to a tournament with the highest of standards. What is great to see is the emergence of our World Championship rookies in particular Kaiya Henry – Jones and Robbie Law who returned home as World Champions from their very first championship experience. 

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Our coaches did a terrific job in preparing our students for the tournament and also in guiding them through the tournament itself, Alf let Chloe and Charlotte do a lot of the coaching and they did a terrific job being able to call on the wealth of competition experience they both possess.  Special thanks go to James Casey aka BUCKET who put a lot of work into getting our fighters ready in the weeks leading up to the championships.  Our congratulations go to everyone involved in what was a terrific result.