Phoenix trio earn medals

MARTIAL ARTS: A trip to the impressive English Institute of Sport in Sheffield by three members of the Phoenix Karate Schools for the SKU British Open Karate Tournament yielded two gold and three bronze medals.

Lowestoft’s Daniel Smith was the first to compete in the cadets’ kumite, and after getting over his initial nerves and dropping two points in the first 20 seconds he rallied to win his first fight four points to two.

He progressed to the semi-finals where he was against an England international. Daniel defended well but could not hold off the attack and lost by one point.

Martham’s Simone Folkes, competing in only her second major competition, looked really strong and took her opponents out with ease – until she met club-mate Sophie Stephenson in the semi-finals.

The more experienced Sophie had to work for her victory as Simone was giving nothing away and took the match right through to the final whistle.

Sophie was fighting excellently, taking out a previous opponent in the early rounds with three straight jodan geri (head kicks), finishing the match in under a minute.

In the final she was against fellow AMA national squad member Philippa Earnst from Manchester.

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Sophie started well, going four points up before Philippa came back to equal the score. However, Sophie’s startling speed as she executed her favourite technique, a hook kick to Philippa’s head, made it clear who the winner would be.

Both girls then joined their AMA squad members to compete in the girls’ team kumite event and were again successful with Simone’s team taking third place and Sophie’s team winning the event, beating the shikon team from Harlow.

Chief instructor Charlie Trorey 4th Dan, an AMA national team coach, said: “All three students put on a great performance and should be proud of their achievements. The AMA squad in all took 12 golds, 18 silvers and numerous bronze medals today in a hard competition.”

n Anyone wishing to join Phoenix Karate Schools classes in Acle, Martham, Caister, Great Yarmouth, Gorleston, Hopton, Oulton Broad, Beccles or Halesworth can contact Charlie on 01502 730171 or Vivianne on 07895 550168 for details.