BUCS karate 2016 was one of the toughest and best ever editions, with several universities bringing larger than ever teams. Edinburgh’s Shukokai and Shotokan karate clubs came to Sheffield brimming with confidence from a five-year winning streak, hoping to defend this for another year. Saturday started with team kata, where Edinburgh was long-standing reigning champions, but Cambridge’s team proved too tough in the semi-final and knocked Edinburgh out, going on to win the competition. Edinburgh’s team, Yui, Tony and Denny, came back in the repêchage and delivered a stunning bronze final performance to the loudest applause of the day, claiming Edinburgh’s first medal. Throughout the weekend, Edinburgh had many frustratingly close misses in quarters, semis and bronze finals, but claimed bronze medals in novice and intermediate kata by Swie Joo Liem and Suzuka Nakagawa respectively. In kumite, Iona Frost lost a close semi-final, but convincingly won her senior U68kg bronze final to bring home yet another medal to her collection. The kumite teams put on strong performances, with a last-second head kick securing the bronze for the women’s team. The men’s team also delivered a solid performance that bodes well for the future, taking Edinburgh’s first male team kumite medal since 2012 with their bronze.
Denny Gombalova dominated the intermediate kata category last year, and it was hard to tell how well she would fare when she entered the senior category this year. She made it all the way to the final, and although the margins were just against her with three flags to her opponent versus Denny’s two, her silver medal this year tells us there might be more to come! We also saw an outstanding performance in male kumite, where Daniel Hogg powered his way through the knockout stages to reach the final of the largest category of the championship: the men’s U75kg kumite. In a very tense fight where neither fighter dared give the other any room to attack, Daniel suffered a 0-1 loss, but brought home an excellent silver. For last year’s novice U63kg silver medallist Morgan Trigg, the expectations were high after teammate and last year’s champion Amy Robinson had moved up to senior. Morgan flew through her category and put on a strong show in her final to claim the gold for Edinburgh. In the end, Middlesex and Bath shared the overall title, but with the new developments in the Edinburgh team, we warn them against getting too comfortable, because Edinburgh is coming back for it next year!
Gold: Morgan Trigg – U63kg novice female kumite
Silver: Denny Gombalova – Senior Female kata
Silver: Daniel Hogg – U75kg senior male kumite
Bronze: Iona Frost – U68kg senior female kumite
Bronze: Suzuka Nakagawa – Intermediate female kata
Bronze: Swie Joo Liem – Novice female kata
Bronze: Iona Frost, Yui Pluksaranun, Suzuka Nakagawa and Kate Hopkins – Female team kumite
Bronze: Daniel Hogg, Antonio Wong, Aslak Veierud Busch, Stuart Hunter, Uonas Raulavicius and Alex Stewart – Male team kumite
Bronze: Antonio Wong, Yui Pluksaranun and Denny Gombalova – Team kata
Make sure to have a look at the videos on our YouTube channel. More videos to come!